Chasing the Pride Dollar: Newest Gay-Friendly Destinations

These days, it seems just about everybody is after that rainbow dollar.

And the recent federal ruling by the Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage in all 50 states will only further the expansion of cities, both large and small, marketing toward the gay community, which represents an estimated $70 billion travel market, or around six to eight percent of the entire travel market.

“Within every jurisdiction, it sends a signal to the world that says gay people are on the same footing as everyone else,” says Ed Salvato, editor-in-chief of ManAboutWorld, a gay travel magazine.

Source: Chasing the Pride Dollar: Newest Gay-Friendly Destinations

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Advertisers Come Out Of The Closet, Openly Courting Gay Consumers : NPR

A recent Chevrolet ad made its LGBT-friendly message clear: Against a montage of different families, including single and same-sex parents, a voice-over intones, “While what it means to be family hasn’t changed, what a family looks like has.”

Of course, it’s not entirely new for mainstream brands to participate in gay pride parades or advertise in LGBT media. But as Gay Pride Month comes to an end, ads like this drive home the fact the last year has seen a sharp uptick in gay representation in mainstream ad campaigns. And these new ads, like Chevy’s “The New Us,” don’t rely on the coded messages of earlier gay-oriented ads.

The history of gay people in advertising isn’t that long. Rich Ferraro, vice president of communications at GLAAD (an LGBT organization that watches the media), says back in the ’80s brands like Bud Light and Absolut Vodka were among the first to include the LGBT community in their advertising.

It was “mainly spirit brands marketing directly to gay men at the time,” Ferraro says. “You saw images running in gay magazines or at gay events that featured a lot of shirtless white guys on beaches, or drag queens, and played up on stereotypes of the community.

Ferraro says this was before the Internet or social media, so brands didn’t have to be as afraid of a backlash.

Then in the 1990s, as society changed, brands started testing the waters with coded ads.

Robert Klara, a staff writer for Adweek, compares it to a two-way mirror: The ads contained messages that straight audiences would miss, but gay audiences would pick up on.

via Advertisers Come Out Of The Closet, Openly Courting Gay Consumers : NPR.

STUDY: What’s the Most Gay-Friendly Brand? |

After surveying thousands of LGBT consumers around the country, brand-tracking company BrandIndex has announced the most gay-friendly brand, according to how customers perceive the company: This year’s top honor goes to discount warehouse store Costco. Last year Costco was on the list at number 14.

YouGov’s BrandIndex tracks real-time feedback, discussion, and social media buzz for individual brands and once a year compiles a top 100 ranking of the best brands, broken down by audience and market sector. Other top-ranking brands for LGBT consumers include Netflix, Panera Bread, Trader Joe’s, and YouTube rounding out the top five.

According to BrandIndex, companies were scored based on how LGBT people responded to the question, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

Based on the positive and negative reviews, each company was then scored between 100 and -100, allowing BrandIndex to account for substantial shifts in public perception.

via STUDY: What’s the Most Gay-Friendly Brand? |

Lockheed Martin ends gifts to Boy Scouts over ban on gay leaders | Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON — Defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is halting its donations to the Boy Scouts of America over the organization’s ban on gays serving as adult leaders after a review of the company’s philanthropy guidelines, the company said Thursday.

Lockheed Martin spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the company, which has major operations in North Texas, decided it will not support nonprofit organizations that do not align with its corporate policies or commitment to diversity. The company did not disclose how much it has contributed to the Boy Scouts.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed follows UPS Inc., Merck & Co. and computer-chip maker Intel in withdrawing support for the Boy Scouts over its no-gays policy in the past two years.

In a written statement, Johndroe said Lockheed seeks to support nonprofit groups that value diversity.

“We believe engaging with and funding an organization that openly discriminates is in conflict with our policies,” he said. “While we applaud the mission of the Boy Scouts and the good things they do in our communities, their policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religious affiliation conflict with Lockheed Martin policies.”


via Lockheed Martin ends gifts to Boy Scouts over ban on gay leaders | Dallas Morning News.

LGBT Community Untapped Market Consumer Brands – Business Insider

Brands from Apple to Budweiser to JCPenney are becoming more interested in gay consumers, with many brands making concerted efforts to target the LGBT market.

Why? What is really at stake? Here are just a few numbers surrounding LGBT consumers and the differences in spending power of gay households vs. the American general market:

  • 23% higher median household income1

  • 24% more equity in their homes1

  • 26% of gay men say they will pay more for top quality brands2

  • 30% have taken a major vacation in the past year2

  • 40% bought a new smart phone in the past year2

Estimates put the buying power of the LGBT community at over $800 billion annually. Some marketers are realizing that they may need to adjust their plans to accommodate this segment, or at least make sure that their marketing spending is inclusive of this valuable target. But many brands have been slow to pick up on the impact of the gay and lesbian consumer on their sales. Some are content to let their general market messages do the job of reaching everyone, and see no reason to pay special attention to LGBT consumers.

via LGBT Community Untapped Market Consumer Brands – Business Insider.

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How Bridal Wear Is Changing to Cater to Same-Sex Couples Post-DOMA | Fashionista

At the end of June, the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, marking an historic victory in the fight for marriage equality. As the LGBT community took to the streets for Pride to celebrate just a few days later–and as scores of gay couples proposed to their partners–the wedding industry was celebrating too, as market insiders predict a million dollar boon to the business.

Yet even as the industry prepared for a wave of new business, insiders we spoke to cautioned that the boost would be short-lived.

“Overall, I would say you’re probably going to see a bump,” says Shane McMurray, founder of The Wedding Report, a research company that tracks and forecasts number of weddings, spending, and consumer trends for the wedding industry. “The likelihood that it’s going to be this big boom is probably not true. If you look at any of the States, that have legalized gay marriage, there is a small bump and then it levels off to regular patterns.”

One reason the post-DOMA boost will likely level off is that, while gay marriage might have only recently be legally recognized in many States, gay weddings are certainly nothing new.

The Knot has been covering gay weddings for years now, but, in a moment of fortuitous timing, they launched a separate gay wedding vertical just days before DOMA was overturned.

How Bridal Wear Is Changing to Cater to Same-Sex Couples Post-DOMA | Fashionista.

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Betty Crocker toasts marriage equality with wedding cake tasting | San Diego Gay and Lesbian News

Three of the first same-sex couples who will legally marry in Minnesota on August 1st visited the Betty Crocker Kitchensat General Mills Headquarters in Golden Valley, Minnesota to taste-test wedding cakes for their ceremonies. The company has kindly donated the cakes to the couples for their celebrations, which will take place this Thursday at midnight. The couples will be wed at Minneapolis City Hall and the Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul.

via Betty Crocker toasts marriage equality with wedding cake tasting | San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

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