The reef


May 16, 2019

7 Sensational Ways Companies Successfully Sailed With LGBTQ-Friendly Advertising

According to a recent article, companies implementing LGBTQ-friendly advertising are really taking over the helm when it comes to sailing with successful marketing practices. Research revealed two important elements when openly embracing the gay community with a buyer’s intent becoming 40% higher and a 66% increase in their willingness to recommend a company, their brand or services. 

Gone are the days when “coming out of the closet” left someone floundering in the wind or drowning out on the open seas. A member of our very own crew, Jon, the co-founder and Director of Client Experience here at Octopus Creative is an openly proud member of the LGBTQ community here in Canada. No one on board our ship looks at their fellow sailors (or anyone else for that matter) any differently because of their race, religion, gender, mental or physical capabilities … that’s just not cool!

Changing Courses And Attitudes

As antiquated attitudes are softening, archaic opinions are being changed and people are becoming more accepting overall, we’re all embracing each other’s differences. And why shouldn’t we be celebrating the ways in which we’re all more unique rather than rocking the boat over ways some of us are dissimilar? After all, who sets their sails in hopes of reaching the shores of becoming a person (or brand) that’s only average or ordinary? Boring!

In this light, let’s take a look at how these seven companies that are taking their brand to the top of the mast by connecting with consumers using gay-friendly, rainbow-drenched methods in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

1. Target

Talk about being on target with advertising, in a recent campaign the big-box store reached out to engaged gay couples encouraging them to use a tool found on their website. Target published a picture of two men holding hands with a caption reading: “Be yourself together. Build a Target Wedding Gift Registry as unique as the two of you.”

Awesome job Target, you really hit the bullseye with that pitch.

2. Ben & Jerry’s

Proud proprietors of ice cream, childhood friends Ben and Jerry have been selling their creamy confection to fans of this chilly dessert for more than four decades. Celebrating their 40th anniversary in May of 2018, they released a new birthday cake variety, but we’re looking at another flavour in this case. In honor of the United States Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriages, Ben & Jerry’s temporarily renamed their popular cookie dough brand of ice cream to read, “I dough, I dough.”

I scream, you scream, we all scream supporting both of these decisions.

3. Levi’s

As one of the oldest and globally-recognized clothing brands in the world, Levi’s has been dressing people in denim since their inception way back in 1853 in (of all places) San Francisco, California. Fast-forward to 2014 when they released a pride-themed, rainbow-embellished line of clothing in support of the LGBTQ community. They turned it up a notch by contributing the profits from this line to charities supporting pride organizations all over America. 

Levi’s says, “Quality never goes out of style” and we won’t soon forget this generous and thoughtful gesture.

4. Tide

As a way to embrace more tolerance in our society, Tide laundry detergent put together one gem of a video advertisement for their soap. Reaching the treasured viral level on the internet, images of two gentlemen dressed in tuxedos, holding hands and heading for the church, are stopped by an older woman who prevents them from entering the hallowed grounds. With an outstretched hand, she snarls, “How offensive! I won’t let you blemish the sanctity of marriage.” As the men react in disbelief, the woman reaches into her purse to grab a Tide stain eraser and removes the “blemish” from one of their shirts ending with the tagline, “Never tolerate the stain.”

We also applaud the Canadian video of two married men debating the merits of using Tide over less-expensive, lower-quality brands.

5. J.C. Penney

For Father’s Day in 2014, department store giant J.C. Penney put out an advertisement showcasing two gay fathers playing with their children. In a previous print ad campaign, they posted pictures of a lesbian couple with their kids. To further connect with a gay female audience, J.C. hired Ellen Degeneres as their spokesperson.

Thank you Penney’s for recognizing families are about love, support, being together and have nothing to do with gender.

6. Chipotle

When this popular Mexican chain of eateries decided to throw their sombrero into the ring of LGBTQ support, they proudly released coupons printed with the phrase “¿Homo estás?” above a photo of a burrito. The promotion also included a choice between two lapel buttons asking consumers “Which way do you sway?” pondering one’s preference of “I eat tacos” or I eat burritos” branded with the Chipotle logo. 

Both cheeky and risque, way to go Chipotle! Even though they received some backlash over this choice, we still support their decision with our sense of humour intact and certainly aren’t offended by these casual, comical comments.

7. Martha Stewart

Never one to shy away from controversy herself, Matha Stewart was only too proud to publish the union of best-selling author and gay activist Jeremy Hooper to his partner Andrew Shulman in a June wedding-related magazine. Even though it was hailed as being the first publication to post pictures of a same-sex marriage, the pair mentioned there was no mention of this fact found inside the piece. Jeremy and Andrew were featured along with two other couples and they reported it felt as though their article featured them as just genuine, regular folks.

Way to go Martha! Now that’s how a classy magazine operates when it puts a couple’s happiness over pathetic paparazzi practices.

Honourable Mention: Doritos

In support of the It Gets Better Project aimed at inspiring today’s LGBTQ youth, Doritos released a limited-edition bag of rainbow-coloured chips to help promote this cause. These cool ranch-flavoured snacks were only available by donating directly to the charity, but we’d much rather have seen them on grocery store shelves instead with the proceeds still going to this not-for-profit.

In closing, remember we’re here, we’re queer and we’re ready to steer your business to greater success. Let’s get together and discover how being loud and proud will lead to better branding and a closer connection to our audience. Reach out to Jon or anyone else on our crew and contact us today. We’ll raise our sails and fly our rainbow flag high when we discover the pot of gold at the end of this colorful arch symboling love for everyone!