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Targeting A Minority Without Alienating The Majority: Advertising To Gays And Lesbians In Mainstream Media

Journal of Advertising Research

Gillian Oakenfull, Michael S. Mccarthy, Timothy B. Greenlee


Although marketers generally consider homosexuals to be a desirable market segment, they are not targeted using mainstream media because it is expected that heterosexuals will react negatively to homosexual advertising messages. However, this study found that consumers' response to heterosexual or homosexual advertising content was affected by the type of homosexual imagery used in the advertisement and the gender and sexual orientation of the consumer viewing the advertisement. The findings indicate that marketers advertising to homosexual consumers using the mainstream media should use advertising incorporating gay and lesbian subcultural symbolism whenever possible.

Lgbtq+, Homosexual Imagery, Heterosexual, Marketing Representation, Gay, Lesbian, Advertising, Symbolism


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