GLAAD/P&G Study: Consumers look favorably on brands with LGBTQ people in ads

GLAAD’s Sarah Kate Ellis singles out campaigns “on the cutting edge” of inclusion.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

NEW YORK: Companies win fans when they include members of the LGBTQ community in their ads, according to the LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media report from GLAAD and Procter & Gamble. 

The study looked at how non-LGBTQ audiences respond to seeing LGBTQ people in ads. It found they look favorably on companies that include LGBTQ people in their marketing, with 68% of respondents saying they “feel better about buying products from” companies that do so.

By including LGBTQ individuals in their marketing, 86% of respondents say it reflects the company’s support of LGBTQ rights; 85% said it shows a company’s commitment to offering products to all types of customers; 82% said it reflects the company’s value for all kinds of diversity; and 80% said it shows the company is making a statement about the importance of recognizing LGBTQ people.

The study also found that non-LGBTQ consumers exposed to LGBTQ people in the media have higher levels of comfortability with LGBTQ people in their daily lives. 

“Across the board, people felt that seeing LGBTQ people in ads helped them understand and build education around LGBTQ, which grows acceptance,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. She added that when ads are done “properly” with LGBTQ people in front of and behind the camera, it has a “positive impact on a brand.”

“As we move into Pride month, the big question will be: ‘Who is not participating?’” said Ellis. “This is a time for marketers to really step up.”

Ellis cited P&G as being “on the cutting edge” when it comes to authentic content that includes the LGBTQ community. 

P&G and CNN’s Great Big Story are planning to release a film called They Will See You, which discusses why representation in advertising and media matters, according to LGBTQ organizations like GLAAD, LGBTQ consumers and members of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, among others. It also showcases the impact that inclusion can have on local communities and how global brands can increase the visibility of marginalized people everywhere, according to a GLAAD statement.

For the past year, GLAAD and P&G have been strategic partners working to drive responsible LGBTQ inclusion across the advertising industry as a force for good, according to a statement.

Ellis said she also admires Skittles’ Give the Rainbow campaign that is set to launch in June. The brand will rid its packaging of any color and donate $1 to GLAAD for each pack purchased next month. 

The study was conducted online in November and December 2019, among a national sample of 2,031 non-LGBTQ U.S. adults.

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