The rainbow ads

Marketing the Rainbow

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The rainbow ads

Marketing the Rainbow knows many colors - but the rainbow itself is also a recurring theme in advertisements, aimed at LGBT. "Traditionally", the rainbow is a symbol for LGBT community. I put that between " " because the tradition only started in the '70s of the last century, whereas the rainbow has been used as a symbol for MANY other groups, traditions, legends and customs over time. However, the LGBT rainbow only has six colors!

Oddly enough, the two largest industries who are successful in gay marketing, Travel and Fashion, hardly use the rainbow theme. In Fashion - mostly underwear - this is suitably replaced with near naked models, but the Travel industry shows their true colors in different ways. 

To begin with, there are the companies who support diversity, and want to hire LGBT staff. This is often the first step towards rainbow marketing - if at all relevant: some companies do not target consumers, so their statement is one of support more than anything else.

Often, a next step is to sponsor an event, like Pride or a workplace platform to celebrate and support diversity.

Desired progress has been supported, achieved progress was celebrated. Most obvious: after the SCOTUS verdict regarding marriage equality in 2015. The verdict had hardly been given, or an avalanche of prepared rainbow messages flooded social media. LGBT marketing all of a sudden became mainstream.

And then, of course, the LGBT consumer comes in sight. Started by the champion of gay marketing Absolut vodka in 1981, who used dozens, if not hundreds of special ads, somewhere over the rainbow.

After Absolut, many followed.

A number of wines targeted the gays, such as Barefoot.

Check out my article about "Gay Wines".

The rainbow theme was not only used in ads or commercials, but also stores and window displays, like Ralpsh Lauren en GAP's:

In entertainment, a rainbow is easily linked to the product: