Ogilvy: Consumers value LGBT-inclusive brands, but authenticity is key
- Almost two-thirds (65%) of surveyed Americans think LGBT-inclusive brands and businesses are beneficial to the economy, but 68% said they must "walk the talk" in an authentic way by following up on promises and plans in regards to LGBT support, according to findings from an Ogilvy study made available in a press release.
- Sixty-four percent of those surveyed reported LGBT initiatives from brands reflect U.S.diversity. Sixty-four percent of LGBT allies and 46% of all Americans said that seeing inclusive advertising would make them more likely to buy products and services from those brands; alternatively, 63% of LGBT allies and 48% of all Americans reported they would try to avoid making purchases from brands that are known to discriminate against the LGBT community.
- "Our survey demonstrates that creating LGBT-inclusive advertising should be more than just a diversity initiative," Ogilvy Account Director and Co-chair of Ogilvy Pride Bill Berman said in a statement. "When it's done right, it can be a way to drive value at a higher level for an entire business."
The marketing industry has a less than stellar track record when it comes to diverse representation both in advertising and behind-the-scenes, in the corporate structures at brands and agencies. Ogilvy's findings reflect the view that LGBT inclusiveness is largely a positive for brands, not just in terms of politics but also in a business sense.
Authenticity remains key, however, with 57% of those surveyed reporting that marketers should hire diverse professionals for crafting LGBT-minded advertising. This approach might matter more to younger demographic groups like millennials and Gen Z, who are demanding greater authenticity and transparency in their marketing, along with more inclusion.
Ogilvy's findings also come at a time when sharp political divisions are forcing many marketers to walk a fine line lest they face strong consumer backlash and even boycotts. Though Ogilvy's study and others point to a positive consumer response toward inclusive advertising, groups including the 4A's have cautioned against brands getting too overtly political, with a recent study from the industry trade group finding that 58% of surveyed consumers dislike it when companies do so.
The 4A's said that consumers are more likely to avoid brands with a "negative" stance — being anti-LGBT, for example — than to support brands communicating a positive messaging.
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