Marketing the Rainbow
The fmcg companies were among the first to look at LGBT consumers: although spending is small, repeat business can be worthwhile. Gay consumers have proven to be more loyal than others - when you manage to convince them of your good products ánd intentions - plus they are often seen trendsetters and opion leaders.
Remarkably, most of these are of the unhealthy kind: alcohol and cigarettes. Statistics show that alcoholism and nicotine addiction are (much) higher among LGBT - making them an ideal target group.
Pioneered by the Absolut champion in gay marketing, many brands have followed: not just a whole range of other vodka brands (what are they trying to tell us?), but tobacco companies, brewers, wineries, both Coca Cola and Pepsico, but also brands like Altoids, Kraft, Heinz and Jakobs - and even upscale brands from the House of LVMH.
From gay vague images - like the Smirnoff ad from 1958 - and word jokes that only insiders would get, to tongue in cheek ads from Altoids, and hunky models completely irrelevant to the product, such as the Heinz "chef".
- an introduction