Marketing to the LGBTQ Community: A New Beginning
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality in the United States, some businesses may be waking up this fall to the realization that they’ve been ignoring a powerful demographic. The number of U.S. LGBTQ families grew more than 80 percent from 2000 to 2010, and with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of marriage equality, that growth should continue into 2020. In 2013, PEW Research released a statistic that there are approximately 170,000 same-sex married couples already in the country, which measured a time when only 13 states sanctioned the unions.
Already in the years previous to the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, major brands began changing their tunes to a more inclusive one. Traditionally “wholesome companies” started with Pride-related messaging at specific times to highlight their positioning. The most notable example of this was Oreo’s rainbow cookie post on social media, which was a small part in a larger campaign to do creative cookie advertising daily. Oreo posted a cookie filled with rainbow icing with the date June 25 and simply the word “Pride.” That small moment garnered the brand a lot of attention and positive feedback from consumers who shared their worldview.
Inclusiveness has branched beyond a single social media post, however, and started to inform larger campaigns at major brands. Honey Maid’s “This is Wholesome” campaign included same-sex and interracial couples on a national level, and Wells Fargo featured a lesbian couple adopting a deaf child in a national campaign about financial planning. This year, Tylenol’s #HowWeFamily campaign explored diversity in modern family structure, which included LGBTQ people, and Lucky Charms and Allstate have both run Pride campaigns around diversity and inclusiveness. While some of these ads are tied to June (Pride Month), the fact of same-sex marriage’s legality has opened up the market for LGBTQ marketing yearlong.