Using Market-Specific Symbols in Advertising to Attract Gays and Lesbians Without Alienating the Mainstream

Gillian K. Oakenfull, Miami University
Timothy B. Greenlee, Miami University
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - Why should marketers risk alienating heterosexual consumers by placing ads with gay content in mainstream media? First, an enormous proportion of gays and lesbians cannot be reached through gay media. While the number of advertisers who target the ADream Market@ in gay media continues to grow (Wall Street Journal 1999), a placement of an ad in OUT and The Advocate, the two most widely circulated gay magazines, will reach only 3% of the gay and lesbian population, at most (Poux 1998). Conversely, more than 90% of gay men and 82% of lesbians reportedly read mainstream magazines. Second, by bringing gay issues into the mainstream, marketers may stand to gain from the goodwill of gay and lesbian consumers who strive for the acceptance of gays and lesbians into mainstream society. Penaloza (1996) contends that many gay and lesbian consumers consider their inclusion in marketplace activities as recognition of the progress of the gay social movement.
[ to cite ]:
Gillian K. Oakenfull and Timothy B. Greenlee (2004) ,"Using Market-Specific Symbols in Advertising to Attract Gays and Lesbians Without Alienating the Mainstream", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 652-653.