Is gay advertising out of the closet? A look into how explicit and implicit marketing is perceived by consumers.
Abstract: Research Purpose: This study aims to provide insight into the consumer perceptions of explicit marketing towards LGBT consumers. Furthermore, it examines the current status of implicit gay marketing Methodology: Triangulation was adopted combining both content analysis and netnography to qualitatively analyse consumer perceptions from three different perspectives. Content analysis was conducted from two mediums. Firstly, consumers’ reactions from Burger King’s and Absolut’s LGBT-related marketing campaigns. Secondly, additional information was collected from marketing news magazine Advertising Age. This data was triangulated with netnography from the online community Reddit to further understand why and how consumers perceive explicit marketing. Theoretical perspective: The main theories that the study is based on are gay window advertising, target marketing and the self and social identity concept. Empirical data: The empirical data consists of user comments taken from social media channels , online forums and marketing information taken from practitioner journals. Conclusions: People’s perceptions of explicit marketing towards LGBT consumers depends on various factors such as education and age but also on the advertising company's overall involvement with the LGBT community. This study presents a set of recommendations targeted at people interested in LGBT-related marketing from both academia and practice. Moreover, the study exposes implicit gay marketing as outdated.
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