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LGBT advertising Why brands should embrace LGBT advertising

Did you ever have a crush on the shirtless Coca-Cola man in some or other Coca-Cola commercial (regardless of whether it was the delivery man, the gardener or the pool boy)? Well, I did. And Coca-Cola’s new commercial clearly shows I was definitely not the only one.

This new Coca-Cola commercial features a brother and sister who both lust after the pool boy. They both rush to get him a Coke, but in the end, someone else beats them to the punch. It’s one of four new spots for Taste the Feeling, Coca-Cola’s global campaign that launched in 2016 as part of its One Brand strategy. All ads are designed to translate globally with simple stories, little to no dialogue and universal themes. While Pool Boy promotes diversity and inclusion of the LGBT community, their other ads are bringing up other socially relevant themes. And in the end, it’s just about how drinking Coca-Cola makes everyday moments more special, whatever these moments are.

Brands jumping on the LGBT train

Why did this commercial attract my attention? Because it promotes diversity and thus fits perfectly with the NextGen trend: dreaming of creating a better society, a better world. There is no place for stigmatization and this generation is more in favor of gender equality, which means they’re the perfect target group for these kinds of commercials which are embracing equality on all sorts of levels.

Moreover, research has shown that most people within the LGBT community are an appealing segment to marketers: they’re often childless couples who like A brands and all other classy and trendy stuff. In short, the perfect niche market, with a big spending power.

So, more brands should be supporting LGBT rights and integrate them fundamentally in their marketing and advertising strategies; some brands are already doing this pretty well.

  • IKEA’s latest campaign embraces the fact that families come in all shapes and sizes and that all homes are created equal. Accompanying their TV commercial was a page in their 2017 catalogue that features an interracial same-sex couple chilling at home, strengthening the message that “all homes are created equal“. This is the very first time IKEA presents a gay couple in its advertising.
  • Without knowing the brand Honey Maid (a cracker brand of Mondelez International) beforehand, it definitely stuck in my mind, all because of their strong, touching stories of acceptance they released last year. In Mis Hijos, a father discusses how he feels about his gay son and his husband.
  • With their key message “There are no ordinary love stories, these are no ordinary cards”, Hallmark scored again this year. Not only did they make a series of coming-out e-cards, destined for those looking for a modern way to come out of the closet, they also featured an adorable gay couple in one of their Christmas ads.
  • In their most recent ad, the Australian bank ANZ brings across a strong message: “When you feel like letting go, #HoldTight”. Talking about embracing the LGBT community, this is the perfect example.
  • Last but not least, Kodak succeeded in touching my emotions again. Guided by their tagline The moments that capture your love, Kodak created this short movie that follows a teenager whose sexuality is discovered by his family members. His father struggles to accept it at first, but what happens at the end is very touching.

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: How brands are supporting #LGBT rights in their #marketing insit.es/2nCJ3yD by @MasNatalie via @CoolBrands #advertising #equality #nextgen

LGBT entering the red carpet

Not only the world of advertising is focusing on the fact that this next generation is ready to embrace a better society where (gender) equality plays an important role; the red carpet definitely does as well. Think about the movie Moonlight for example, which has recently been awarded for Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars. The story covers three time periods in the life of an African-American gay guy and is definitely worth going to see.

And then we haven’t mentioned the live-action remake of Beauty & the Beast. With the movies Frozen and Brave, Disney already succeeded in picturing female empowerment, but now they’re ready to take it to the next level: the support of LGBT visibility on screen. Because in the new Beauty & the Beast movie, the character of LeFou, as primary antagonist Gaston’s sidekick, features its own small but significant subplot when it comes to his sexuality. What will happen is for us to figure out when we go watch it, but the makers of the movie already revealed this will be the first exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie, despite the fact that the main movie plot is all about the heterosexual love between Belle and the beast :-).

And with already 127 million trailer views in 24 hours and counting, Beauty & the Beast promises to be a success – not only because it’s a beautiful, authentic Disney story, but also because I believe it is a step in the right direction when it comes to changing attitudes when picturing LGBT characters on screen, especially when a company like Disney already embraces it.

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: How @Disney embraces the #LGBT community on screen insit.es/2nCJ3yD by @MasNatalie via @CoolBrands #equality #nextgen #beautyandthebeast

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