Tim Bennett and John Nash say gay pride should be celebrated on one agreed-upon day, “like the Fourth of July,” and that the movement needs a new marketing strategy.
The problem with marketing gay pride, according to Nash, is that the demographic is split between those who lived through the AIDS crisis and those who grew up after it had passed.
Bennett and Nash interview companies, celebrities, ad executives and creatives on their Sirius XM radio show, “The Focus Group,” airing live on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and replaying on Sundays at 10 a.m. It’s shop talk about Madison Avenue and beyond for LGBT marketers and consumers — like whether the Super Bowl commercial bonanza affects gay viewers at all. (Their answer, by the way, is yes.)
Either way, Gay Pride Month arrived this June at a time when gay-themed advertising has increased among traditionally mainstream companies, such as JCPenney and the Gap. The retailers have remained steadfast in their gay-inclusive advertising, despite protests from conservative group One Million Moms.
Bennett and Nash have helped create some of the history that they now analyze. Commercialcloset.org said the pair’s Subaru print campaign was the first mainstream advertising campaign to target gay consumers. Subaru billboards started popping up around the country in 1997, showing cars with vanity plates such as “XENA-LVR,” “P-TOWN” and “CAMP OUT.”
Bennett, Subaru USA’s advertising director at the time, and Nash, whose agency had been hired by Subaru, had effectively stamped the brand as gay- and lesbian-friendly with a clever wink.
More of these bold yet “coded” ads followed, highlighted by a billboard and print push with the tagline “Get Out. And Stay Out.” According to the radio hosts, the Harvard Business School still uses the Subaru campaign as a case study. The brand has persisted as a gay community favorite over the years.
True story, they swear: When one Subaru ad man, Tim Mahoney, proposed the gay-targeting ads in
This article originally appeared on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/16/tim-bennett-john-nash-gay-pride-advertising_n_1591457.html?utm_hp_ref=business