Study: Many See Pride-Themed Marketing as a Ploy

Dive Brief:

  • Fifty percent of Americans say they’re more likely to see Pride-themed products or content as a marketing tactic than an accurate reflection of a brand’s values, according to a new survey from public opinion firm YouGov.
  • Additional findings include that 24% are more likely to become customers if a company is LGBTQ-friendly, 18% are less likely and 44% says it doesn’t matter.
  • Nearly the same percentage (46%) as those saying it doesn’t matter if a company is LGBTQ-friendly say that seeing an ad with a same-sex couple wouldn’t make them more or less likely to purchase a product. Twenty-seven percent say such a commercial would make them less likely to buy, while 13% say they are more likely. Among gays and lesbians, 58% would be more likely to buy. Campbell’s, Colgate, Ikea and Nordstrom are among the brands that have featured same-sex couples in ads.

Dive Insight:

The stat that half of the survey respondents see a marketing ploy behind Pride-themed products may reflect consumers’ sensitivity to how brands turn all kinds of celebrations into marketing events. Consumers increasingly demand authenticity from the brands they do business with — and aren’t afraid to show their dislike of marketing perceived as inauthentic.

The need for purpose and authenticity in marketing is particularly pronounced with Gen Z, a group that’s twice as likely as other generations to care about issues of equality and is also more likely to trust that large companies are operating in society’s best interests only when the companies show it by their actions and their employees’ actions, according to a separate report from brand consultancy BBMG and strategy firm GlobeScan.

One key takeaway from the YouGov survey is about which consumers will pull the trigger and buy from a company with a Pride-themed tie-in. While 46% say they wouldn’t be more likely to purchase a product after seeing an ad with a same-sex couple, 58% of gay and lesbian consumers and 38% of bisexuals would be more likely to consider making a purchase in this scenario. Liberals, millennials and high-income earners are also more likely to make a purchase.

The report is well-timed given that June is Pride Month and this year’s celebration of the LGBTQ+ community holds special significance, as it’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that spurred the gay rights movement in the 1960s. World Pride is expected to draw millions of tourists and local attendees to New York City this year. The survey comes as a number of major brands have created Pride-themed products and services. Hyatt, for instance, a series of travel packages centered around NYC Pride and World Pride. Bloomingdale’s has a Pride-themed in-store pop-up and Smirnoff is mixing influencers, experiential and content marketing for an extensive push.

Source: Barry Levine via Marketing Dive

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