The positive impact that inclusivity in media can have is evident. According to the “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media” study from GLAAD and Procter & Gamble (P&G), “Non-LGBTQ Americans who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in media were more likely to accept LGBTQ people and be supportive of LGBTQ issues.” Specifically, 80% of respondents stated they are “more supportive of equal rights for LGBTQ people” after seeing members of the LGBTQ community in the media. “The findings of this study send a strong message to brands and media outlets that including LGBTQ people in ads, films and TV is good for business and good for the world,” said GLAAD president & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
Major brands and retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch and Doritos have displayed their support for the LGBTQ community and their commitments to spotlighting inclusivity year round through new partnerships, initiatives, purpose-driven campaigns and more.
Abercrombie & Fitch Brings Attention To Mental Health & Wellness In The LGBTQ Community
Abercrombie & Fitch launched “A&F Conversations x Megan Rapinoe,” a miniseries available for streaming on IGTV, centered around mental health and wellness in the LGBTQ community. Led by soccer star Megan Rapinoe, the A&F series welcomes influencers and community activists, which A&F refers to as their “Fierce Family,” for in-depth and meaningful discussions surrounding challenges faced by the LGBTQ community. Topics include “coming out, intersectionality, racial identity, trans rights, self-love, body acceptance, overcoming adversity, disability representation and more,” according to A&F’s official press release.
“These conversations explore the unique journey each member of our Fierce Family has taken, while also highlighting unifying threads of self-love and acceptance, their remarkable resilience in the face of adversity and their courage to share their stories in an effort to tackle the cultural stigma associated with mental health,” said Carey Krug, A&F’s SVP of marketing.
Mental health continues to be a major topic of discussion and point of concern across the country, specifically among young adults within the LGBTQ community. “LGBTQ youth are at higher risk of mental health disorders because of adversities including bullying, difficulty coming out to friends and family, hate crimes, lack of support and fear of discrimination,” noted Marketing Dive reporter Robert Williams.
By launching a series that is dedicated solely to bringing attention to the importance of mental health within the LGBTQ community, A&F is solidifying its position as a supporter and ally to the community.
Doritos Brings Real-Life Moments To The TV Screen
In what quickly became a viral sensation, Doritos launched a new ad sharing the story of a father discovering his son is gay, with the larger message being the importance of loving each other as we are. Released in Mexico during the 2020 holiday season, the two-minute commercial, titled “The best gift,” is based on a true story and has already accumulated more than 14 million YouTube views.
The ad shows a son returning home for Christmas and telling his father he is bringing along a friend. Throughout the time the three men are together, the father begins observing the subtle moments between the pair, catching on to the fact that there is more to their friendship. In one shot, the father is seen asking Reddit for advice, saying “Hello, I'm a 52-year-old divorced father and need some help. I think my son and his friend are a couple and he won't tell me.” The Doritos commercial concludes with the father approaching his son and simply saying: “I love you,” followed by an on-screen message: “The best gift for these holidays is accepting everyone the way they are.”
“The best gift” ad is the latest campaign from Doritos Rainbow, one of Doritos’ LGBTQ+ outreach programs which has been a public supporter of the LGBTQ+ community for several years. “We’re really proud of the accomplishments that have been achieved with Doritos Rainbow,” said Eduardo Córdoba, marketing director for Doritos Mexico. “We believe the moment is right to show that our commitment extends beyond a proud celebration every June.”
The consistent support and messaging displayed by brands like A&F and Doritos can be beneficial for both the LGBTQ community and the brands themselves, with the “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media” survey revealing that 82% of respondents believe companies who include members of the LGBTQ community within their advertisements are demonstrating support for all kinds of diversity.
Whether related to sexuality, race or any other “minority” population, support from brands and advertisers should not be limited to specific times of the year. Advertisers adopting more inclusive approaches to their advertising efforts will resonate with consumers and create long-term loyalty while positively impacting society.
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