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

  • Absolut vodka: the absolute champion in gay marketing.
  • Bailey's Irish Cream: about RuPaul and a scandal in Cameroon.
  • Coca Cola: from the Diet Coke Break guy to the Olympics.
  • Starbucks: Christmas is not complete without Starbucks turmoil.
  • "Gay" Wines: yes, gay wines. Let me tell you about gay wines.
  • Unilever: a bullet through the heart.
  • Pepsi: from equal rights via the Super Bowl to the Beenie Man.
  • Doritos: the gay vague ads over the years.

Coming soon:

  • Kellogg's
  • Rökk vodka
  • Smirnoff
  • Stolichnaya: innocent (?) victim of Russia's anti-LGBT legislation
  • Skyy
  • Svedka and the lesbian fembot


fast moving consumer goods

~ case studies ~