Skip to comments.Some retailers’ efforts now include Gay Pride Month ads and events
Posted on 06/17/2012 8:11:16 AM PDT by scottjewell
Retailers are going mainstream with ad campaigns aimed at gay customers in an effort to get their merchandise into more consumer closets.
Retailers, particularly fashion retailers, always like to be ahead of the curve, said local retail analyst Chris Boring of Boulevard Strategies. In 2012, supporting gay rights and accepting gays is pretty mainstream.
In one high-profile move, J.C. Penney is running an ad for Fathers Day featuring a gay Texas couple and their two children. A month ago, the retailer had an ad for Mothers Day showing a lesbian couple with their children. The iconic retailer also has tapped openly gay comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as a company spokeswoman.
Macys, meanwhile, is marking June, Gay Pride month, with special in-store events, special merchandise and active support of parades around the country.
They join a whos who of other big-name retailers including Limited Brands, Abercrombie & Fitch and Target sponsoring local Gay Pride parades and touting their companies as gay-friendly.
The change is driven as much by changing views as it is by the profit motive.
A recent Pew Research Center survey found a dramatic shift in public opinion. In 2004, 60 percent of the American public opposed gay marriage, and only 29 percent supported it. Today, approval of gay marriage tops 40 percent, and among young people born after 1980, support for gay marriage is over 60 percent.
Theres a dramatic difference among age groups, Boring said. Thats important. From a retailers standpoint, theyre going to connect with younger customers and thats what Penneys is trying to do. Theyre trying to burnish their brand as being progressive and leading edge.
There is big money at stake in gaining that image, too, said Matt Wilson of SBC Advertising.
Depending on what report you read, ... (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) buying power in America ranges anywhere from $850 million to $2 trillion annually, Wilson said. Compared with the average consumer, this group is twice as likely to have graduated from college, twice as likely to have per capita income of $60,000-plus and twice as likely to have household income exceeding $250,000."
In an economy in which the mainstream customer is losing buying power, the LGBT public becomes a valuable and easily activated supplement, ff only youve got the guts to acknowledge it positively and publicly, Wilson said.
There are consequences, he noted, because those who run such ads often wind up on a conservative mom groups hit list.
The American Family Associations One Million Moms group, for example, has expressed disapproval of some companies efforts to reach out to the gay community.
Penneystook some heat for its Fathers Day ad.
One Million Moms is disturbed that J.C. Penney's is continuing down the same path of promoting sin in their advertisements, the group said in a statement issued soon after the ad rolled out. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.
Penneys also endured criticism from that group for using DeGeneres in its ads. But a Penneys spokeswoman said the company stands by her.
We are extremely proud to have her on our team, said Penneys spokeswoman Kate Coultas.
Some retailers are going beyond marketing in to the demographic in general and are specifically acknowledging pride month by selling special T-shirts and other merchandise.
Macys, for example, has a Pride + Joy campaign that features merchandise, in-store fashion events, commemorative advertising and gift registry booths for same-sex couples.
Others, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, eschew such special offerings, preferring to show their support in their everyday business dealings with customers and employees.
For us, it means a whole integration of policy, said Todd Corley, Abercrombies vice president of diversity. For me, the most important thing is when an employee asks, What do you do for me as a person? I can tell you. You can see a shirt, but are we holding people accountable?
The trendy retailer is a founding partner of the European Diversity Awards, which recognize those who foster the embrace of people of all kinds and abilitiesas well as a lead sponsor in the Whos Who in GLBT in Columbus book.
We seek out opportunities wherever we are, Corley said.
Whether companies produce T-shirt and sponsor parades or not, The public declaration of support is the thing, Wilson said. Its a legitimizing force in a consumer-fueled culture. The LBGT community is a brand loyal consumer base who are willing and able to shell out a little more for a product and service because a company has decided to side with the community.
As this years Columbus gay-pride activities take place today and Saturday, corporate support of this demographic is becoming more and more the norm, said Karla Rothan, executive director of Stonewall Columbus.
None of our businesses want people to think theyre not inclusive. (Support of the parade) is a perfect way to show they welcome our business and they welcome our talent.
My grandfather worked for Heinz corporation and I was dismayed also by this ad of theirs which runs openly in Europe (which sets the stage always for the next phase here) - from gay closet to gay agenda to mainstream is "Mission Accomplished": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNPdZPSII0
Expunge God and spirituality from society and invariable something will fill the vacuum.
So damned sad what has happened to America.
Yes, and this vacume was of course strategically created, with much cunning.
This link hadn’t posted before.
Although this has yet to run in the U.S., as stated we are always just a bit behind with the agenda, so it does foretell the future. Notice how the children call the one gay partner, “Mum”:
Addendum on Heinz ad:
Of course Heinz said that it ran the ad due to the “Mum” only being imagined as a NY Deli man. But in our era, it is clear it was a test run of a gay marriage type ad. I have seen now that it was pulled, but the trend continues to build, such as the new GAP gay ads and those of McDonald’s in France.
To me the Ellen ads and the “gay parents” ads are two completely different things. The Ellen ads had nothing to do with pushing an agenda and they were pretty cute. The fact that it was Ellen made no difference...there is no explanation needed to your kids, no blatant agenda. But the ads with same sex parents are offensive on Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days. People have to explain it to their kids, it is really in your face. I hate it when holidays are used this way. By the way, I want to go back to having “GEORGE WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY” not “Presidents’ Day” and change MLK DAY to “Diversity Day or Social Leader’s Day or some other “group” name that would include not only MLK, but Chavez and other such movement people. If we are to have only one day with a specific person’s name on it, it should be George Washington. It must be taken back the same way it was taken away...little by little. All these little things really add up.
I noticed that Macy’s was supporting homosexual pride month so I called them, told them if they choose to support that I also can choose to support other stores that do not. I cancelled my credit card with them as a result. Don’t just let you mouth do the talking but also let your feet to the walking.
Sodom and Gomorrah here we come!!!!!
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" -- George Santayana
Why do the queers get a whole month? I could get real sick of that by about, say, day two.
I did not know this about Macy’s. Macy’s is the only store I shop in because they carry a particular brand of clothing that I have been wearing for years (for older ladies type clothing). Now it looks as though I will have to make do with whatever is left in my closet because I will no longer patronize them. I haven’t been inside a Penney’s in years anyway so that’s a moot point.
I hate what is happening to our society. It’s as though people have no sense of decorum any more. Be gay if that’s your prediliction. You don’t have to push it in everybody’s face. Straight people don’t go around braying publicly about their sexual preferences. Why is it SOP with gays?
Honestly, some days I think I’ve lived too long...........
Yes and I use their advertising to make sure I avoid and not spend at their establishments. I am doing just fine purchase wise without them, all of them.
I agree with what everyone is saying. I think canceling your account with a company which embraces what you find immoral is noble and good.
But I have been following this issue for quite some time, and I have concluded that market forces are more important in America (and the rest of the civilized world) than natural law or the Bible, or traditional values, let alone Christian values.
In 2008, Campbell’s Soup corporation ran an ad in a gay publication, featuring 2 lesbians with their adopted son. The Family Research Council wrote them, appalled, and threatened Campbell’s with a boycott. Their reply? No apologies, they would do what the market deemed best, and indeed they planned on running more gay ads in more gay publications. They said the the FRC was welcome to boycott them, it did not matter to them. ~~~ Recall, even if gays themselves make up only 1-2 % of the population, there is a vast vast army of urban liberals (feminists, those who love promiscuity and recreational drugs and Lady Gaga concerts and spending money without being burdened with marriage or family ) who embrace the gay agenda because it helps to prop up their own so well.
What next “Celebrate Perversity” month?
Or worse, those of us who do not support the perverse sexual deviancy will be ostracised.In a way we already are, since we are bombarded with this crap daily.
My list of retailers is growing shorter everyday.
Amen to that. Me too.
African-Americans should be insulted. Black History Month (28.25 days) is shorter than Gay Pride Month (30 days).