As a woman shops for purses, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
's grooming guru, Kyan Douglas, approaches her.
"Today's your lucky day," he says, holding a box of hair dye. "We're going to do your highlights."
The woman is skeptical that they can do her highlights right there.
"All it takes is a half hour and a sink," Douglas says. "Home highlights have never been easier or more beautiful. Hi-Light Styliste for shiny, luminous highlights, from Loreal Paris."
Douglas is the company's first spokesperson for all categories: cosmetics, skincare, and hair products for both women and men. He represents the continuation of comfort that corporations feel when using openly gay celebrities as product endorsers, following Pier 1, American Express, Chili's, Cartier, Subaru, and others.
Simultaneously, L'Oreal has also introduced Men's Expert skin care into the gay market in the U.S. and England -- the first multinational gay campaign introduction from a major marketer -- and back in May 2004, the company entered the market for the first time with Vive for Men shampoo. (Curiously, Douglas does not appear in those ads, though he would have little recognition in England.)
The print ads for Men's Expert
feature a young man for Pure & Matte Anti-Regreasing gel and reads, "You think your face will turn him on? He thinks the grease on your face is a turn off." Another for Hydra Energetic Daily Anti-Fatigue lotion shows a man with a scruffy face and says, "You think you look the business. He thinks you look overworked."
"The gay market is very important to L’Oreal and our success with gay men is a key priority for us," says Rob Robillard, Senior Vice President of Marketing for L'Oreal Paris. "Gay men have been involved in our testing every step of the way on everything from product concepts to package design to advertising. Directionally, our research showed that gay men are more category-involved than straight men."(See the full Commercial Closet story.)