Ads Targeting LGBTQ+ Are “Insincere,” Says LGBTQ+ Community

While LGBTQ+ Americans and their advocates have made some progress in achieving greater civil rights, recognition, and representation for the LGBTQ+ community, recent actions suggest that further work is needed in the pursuit of equality.

A new report from Collage Group, a leading provider of cultural intelligence, takes a close look at LGBTQ+ marketing and advertising. Specifically, the study examines how LGBTQ+ Americans feel about recent ads aimed toward their community. It also provides the perspectives of non LGBTQ+ people, as well as the perceptions of liberals and conservatives. 

The report examines marketing efforts, specifically LGBTQ+ representation in regard to advertising. It finds that most Americans are either in support of such ads or they are impartial. When LGBTQ+ individuals or groups appear in ads, 71% of the LGBTQ+ segment has positive feelings, as does 31% of non-LGBTQ individuals. Of that 31%, 37% are younger Americans (ages 18-43) and 27% are older (ages 44-77).

Although LGBTQ+ consumers react positively toward commercials that attempt to appeal to them, more than half of these consumers are still skeptical of the brands’ intentions. Those who identify as LGBTQ+ – at a rate of 55% – say that brands’ efforts to woo the LGBTQ+ demographic come across as insincere. Of those who are LGBTQ+ and in the Gen Z age group, 65% say that these campaigns are insincere.

The report also examines backlash as a reaction toward companies that support the LGBTQ+ community, finding that awareness of such backlash is low among general consumers. Of those who are aware of backlash, baby boomers tend to be the most cognizant, followed by Gen Xers.

While the full study (available by request, here) discusses all of the above components in greater detail, it also delves into other unique factors that will help brands engage the LGBTQ+ demographic. This includes how best to appeal to broad audiences through halo effects, a list of group traits of the LGBTQ+ cohort, and how specific ads fared (Bud Light, Target, etc.) among LGBTQ+ viewers vs. non-LGBTQ viewers.