James Franco Dropped By Advertising Campaigns Over His Gay Themed Films
Posted by: Adam Stazer
In a red carpet interview last week at SXSW, James Franco suggested that he has been dropped from three advertising campaigns due to his involvement in two gay-oriented films he put out at Sundance, and not due to his image as the companies reported. He produced Kink and co-directed and starred in a forthcoming Travis Matthews film, Interior.Leather Bar. Franco suggested that this exemplifies the homophobia that still exists in American media. As many advertisers have already begun to notice, gays and lesbians will only continue to become an increasingly visible part of American society. While the exact reason for Franco having been dropped from these campaigns is unclear at this time, the depiction of raw gay sexuality as portrayed in these films was no doubt part of the conversation. Other explicit films depicting heterosexual sex rarely if ever raise an eyebrow among the public, and neither should these.
Gay-Themed Ads Are Becoming More Mainstream
Posted by: Danielle
Above is an article posted by the Huffington Post regarding the new Kindle ad that features a gay couple. I've been delighted to see this Kindle commercial running fairly often. What Kindle did really well in this ad was incorporate a gay couple into a story line that didn't center around their orientation. They essentially normalized this couple and more importantly they weren't necessarily the punchline. This is the best type of integration for LGBT couples in advertisements because it doesn't play off their perceived differences as a joke. Eventually more same-sex couples will seamlessly be incorporated into advertising, and it’s novelty will wear off with every ad (which the article refers to a bit as ‘going mainstream’), but that’s simply the process of normalization which I think should be the ultimate goal.
Do Gay People Really Make Up 3.5% of the Population?
Posted by: Mike Wilke
There have been many statistically significant marketing surveys over the years that generally seem to find about 5% to 7% identified as LGBT, so it is a surprise that these numbers turned out lower. However, any one survey that isn't an actual census is never enough to form a "truth" -- it takes multiple surveys using varied methodology to reach a consensus on a question.
|Subaru Adds Custom TV for 10th Year of Gay Marketing
by Michael Wilke
Branching out after 10 years of speaking to lesbians and gays, Subaru of America is one of the first advertisers to create a series of custom commercials on the new 24-hour gay channel LOGO.
Launched June 30, LOGO provides the powerful medium of TV to gay advertisers who previously could only choose between print publications, online media, and the recent addition of satellite radio. LOGO reaches 17 million households and will exceed 20 million by yearend the network says, faster than it anticipated, despite a four month delay in its launch this year.
With cutting-edge graphics, composite photos and 3D animation, the Subaru spots have a unique yet familiar car ad look -- until the end. In one, two men get out of the vehicle to share a vista together, in another a spaghetti of highways turns into same-gender symbols. The campaign’s inspiration is Subaru’s popular gay vague print ad featuring gay-themed license plates from 1999.
“As we approached the 10th anniversary of our advertising campaigns, the outlets to reach G&L consumers are limited, we were very hamstrung by the general lack of media,” says Moon City Productions president John Nash, who has managed Subaru’s gay efforts from the start. “As LOGO evolved, it became apparent to us it was the platform we’ve been waiting for for a long time – a true mass market.”
Subaru supported LOGO at launch with a mainstream commercial, “but the novelty of being there wears off for viewers after three months, so we knew we needed custom creative,” notes Nash. After learning that MTV research found 70% of its viewers actively looked forward to ads because many are designed specifically for the network, Nash says, “it entered my head and never left.”
Entering the gay market with custom print ads in 1996, Subaru has maintained a consistent presence, though somewhat reluctantly. “Having been in national print for 10 years, the universe of readers hasn’t increased much,” Nash notes cynically. “I’m talking to the same person there that I talked to years ago, and really, how many of these lifestyle magazines can gay men consume?” Circulation hasn’t exceeded 135,000, for even the strongest title, OUT.
Subaru never took a liking to online advertising, but was sold on Sirius Radio’s gay channel OutQ, and agreed to a product placement on Showtime’s “The L Word” in 2004. For TV ads, the carmaker had to double its gay advertising budget (it does not reveal spending figures), but the opportunity was ripe as competition increased dramatically. Mitsubishi, Volvo, Jaguar, Toyota, Saab, Volkswagen, Cadillac, Scion, Saturn, Mercedes, and others now seek gay drivers -- compared to just Saab in 1996.
“Category clutter is something this brand avoids at all costs. LOGO presented a way to recapture the lead we had 10 years ago,” says Nash confidently. “The minute LOGO flipped on the switch, I got a whole raft of people who’ve never seen our advertising.”
Research of the gay market, which comes from Subaru’s overall research budget, shows that LOGO has quickly earned high awareness. And Subaru customers who aren’t gay respect its outreach to gays, Nash says. In fact, Subaru also plans to bring the new ads onto Sundance, Bravo, HGTV networks and elsewhere.
Most other LOGO ads thus far, including Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Miller Lite, Bud Light, Motorola, Hewlett Packard, Travelocity, Glaxo SmithKline’s Valtrex, E*TRADE, The New York Times are only mainstream commercials. A few have appropriately gay creative not created for LOGO. American Express featured Ellen DeGeneres, and Orbitz has a mock game show ad where an affectionate male couple competes for the fastest booking of a trip.
“For now, its new and very expensive” to create dedicated commercials, notes Tom Watson, VP of advertising sales for LOGO. However, for Subaru, Key West and Orbitz “the gay market is very important to them and they’ve made a commitment because of that.”
LOGO is helping advertisers without gay commercials by making low-cost tags that support a general commercial. “It makes their commercial resonate more,” says Watson. LOGO did so for Miller Lite, Tylenol PM, the film “Happy Endings” and expects to repeat the approach for more film companies including Paramount, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers and others.
Watson says that current and potential advertisers report few issues with evangelicals, contrary to his original expectations. And while the network won’t be Nielsen rated until 2007, few advertisers mind yet since most are already committed to the market and eager for the new medium.
Despite the new cost, Subaru won’t rest on its three gay commercials for very long. Planning is already underway for new ones next year.\n