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When Targeting the Gay Community, Practice What You Preach
By: Jill Nadorlik
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Increasingly, brands are directing a portion of their advertising straight at the gay community, and why not? This target audience is made up of an estimated nine million Americans who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), according to a study done by the Williams Institute. 
 
More than sheer numbers, this audience is also 10 times more likely to dine out and take more trips than the average U.S. traveler, according to a study by Geiger in 2012. Their household incomes also tend to be higher than straight couples.
 
But don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
 
This audience knows their buying power and isn’t afraid to flex their muscles. So what can you do as a brand to get on their good side? Practice what you preach.
 
Levi’s launched a gay-friendly ad with two men. One man is seen in his apartment, pulling up his Levi's in his living room. As he begins to pull them up, a telephone booth rises, too, from his floor. Inside is an attractive man, with whom he exchanges a glance. Startled, he releases his Levi's, sending the phone booth back through the floor. With a burst of confidence, he pulls his jeans up quickly, transforming his apartment into a downtown, urban scene, complete with the man from the phone booth. The two then walk down the street confidently.
 
Check out the video on YouTube.
 
But what really matters is what Levi’s also did internally.
 
In 2010, Levi's partnered with the White Knot for Equality foundation, which supports equal rights for marriage. In their stores, Levi's put white ribbons on their mannequins and had white ribbons available for employees and shoppers who wanted to show their support.
 
If they hadn't taken a stance internally, they could quickly be criticized for appearing to be gay-friendly just for the potential revenue. The lesson?  Be sure to integrate public relations into any campaign that targets minorities or sub-groups.


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About the Author
Jill Nadorlik is the owner of Nadorlik & Co., a boutique marketing firm specliaizing in content marketing, social media management, blogging, and public relations. Reach out to her at www.nadorlikco.com.
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