James Franco Dropped By Advertising Campaigns Over His Gay Themed Films
Posted by: Adam Stazer
In a red carpet interview last week at SXSW, James Franco suggested that he has been dropped from three advertising campaigns due to his involvement in two gay-oriented films he put out at Sundance, and not due to his image as the companies reported. He produced Kink and co-directed and starred in a forthcoming Travis Matthews film, Interior.Leather Bar. Franco suggested that this exemplifies the homophobia that still exists in American media. As many advertisers have already begun to notice, gays and lesbians will only continue to become an increasingly visible part of American society. While the exact reason for Franco having been dropped from these campaigns is unclear at this time, the depiction of raw gay sexuality as portrayed in these films was no doubt part of the conversation. Other explicit films depicting heterosexual sex rarely if ever raise an eyebrow among the public, and neither should these.
Gay-Themed Ads Are Becoming More Mainstream
Posted by: Danielle
Above is an article posted by the Huffington Post regarding the new Kindle ad that features a gay couple. I've been delighted to see this Kindle commercial running fairly often. What Kindle did really well in this ad was incorporate a gay couple into a story line that didn't center around their orientation. They essentially normalized this couple and more importantly they weren't necessarily the punchline. This is the best type of integration for LGBT couples in advertisements because it doesn't play off their perceived differences as a joke. Eventually more same-sex couples will seamlessly be incorporated into advertising, and it’s novelty will wear off with every ad (which the article refers to a bit as ‘going mainstream’), but that’s simply the process of normalization which I think should be the ultimate goal.
Do Gay People Really Make Up 3.5% of the Population?
Posted by: Mike Wilke
There have been many statistically significant marketing surveys over the years that generally seem to find about 5% to 7% identified as LGBT, so it is a surprise that these numbers turned out lower. However, any one survey that isn't an actual census is never enough to form a "truth" -- it takes multiple surveys using varied methodology to reach a consensus on a question.
|Entertainment Advertising Surges in Gay Media
by Michael Wilke
Gay consumers buy a lot of tickets, and not just to musicals.
According to a recent Harris Interactive study for Viacom's new gay network LOGO, its viewers are not only five times likelier than heterosexuals to attend social dramas, art/foreign films and documentaries -- gay men also flock to horror, thrillers and sci-fi movies more than most. The study also found that LOGO watchers attend a film's opening weekend twice as much as everyone else.
Entertainment advertising meant big business for gay media in 2006. HBO, Showtime, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Brothers, helped make entertainment advertising increase nearly 46% for the year at LPI's online properties, PlanetOut.com and gay.com. Competitor Here! Interactive Media, which manages GayWired and LesbianNation, reports a 100% surge to $250,000 for the category, its second largest after travel.
"The biggest increase and interest is from network and cable advertisers," notes Matt Skallerud, president of HIM.
Viacom's LOGO, now a year and a half old, doesn't yet have year-to-year figures but entertainment advertising represents its second largest ad category after automotive. The network will reach 25.6 million households this quarter, and already carries over 80 advertisers, including every major Hollywood studio -- Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Sony, Warner Brothers, Disney/Buena Vista. All the major independent studios are lined up too, like Lions Gate Films, Miramax, Focus Features, Sony Classics, Paramount Classics, Warner Independent, and Fox Searchlight.
In addition, TV networks on LOGO include Animal Planet, Showtime, FOX for "American Idol," and Lifetime for its gay-themed program starring John Stamos, "Marriage Wars."
"The entertainment category is among the most healthy for LOGO," says Tom Watson, VP Advertising Sales at LOGO. Noting that TV network advertising could grow too, he adds, "I suspect there is the possibility of more of this business from CBS, NBC Travel Channel and Bravo." CBS is also owned by Viacom, and provides news resources to LOGO.
NBC Universal's Bravo Network has made its name with gay audiences and general audiences alike on gay-inclusive reality programs like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," "Project Runway," "Top Chef," "Work Out," "Manhunt," Blow Out," "Gay Weddings," and "Boy Meets Boy." Last June, Bravo launched the gay-targeted web portal OutzoneTV (named after now-defunct Trio network's programming block), featuring Bravo programs, fashion, gossip, BrilliantButCancelled.com, message boards, and links to gay blogs.
Jason Klarman, SVP Marketing at Bravo, says the network started OutzoneTV to "superserve the gay and lesbian community" and comments on the lack of options for gay web consumers. "Online you can do two things -- date or watch porn," he says.
The portal attracts 200,000 unique visitors monthly according to Klarman. The site carries ads for gay.com and RSVP Vacations, co-owned by LPI Media which it collaborated with to create OutzoneTV. In addition, house ads run from NBC Sports for the National Hockey League, "The Apprentice," and "Poker After Dark."
Stoli and Subaru Invest In Branded Entertainment
Meanwhile, on the strength of gay-targeted film and TV, some advertisers are investing in branded entertainment.
Subaru, a charter sponsor of LOGO, last year created two-minute mini-movie intersitials for LOGO about Subaru owners, like a woman who runs Greensgrow Farm in Philadelphia, and a female couple who are triathletes and expedition racers. A new one will be produced for spring, and they also appear on logoonline.com for more exposure. "It's been a very, very effective marketing tool," says John Nash of Moon City Productions, Subaru's gay market ad agency.
Seeking a way to uniquely stand out in the highly competitive category of vodka in the gay marketplace, Pernod Ricard USA's Stolichnaya Vodka produced a 53-minute documentary called "Be Real - Stories from Queer America" about six gays and lesbians who made a difference in their communities. The film ran at 19 gay film festivals and was co-produced by Emmy winning TVGals and gay ad agency Double Platinum, New York.
"The category required that Stoli do something completely different, it became logical because of gay television," says Double Platinum's Stephanie Blackwood about the film. Stoli was cleverly branded via the film at many festivals sponsored by the category leader, Absolut Vodka, with only Outfest in Los Angeles rejecting "Be Real" as a conflict with Absolut. It also won an award from the Association of National Advertisers.
Moving to other media, "Be Real" recently aired on LOGO, and in spring 2007 will be turned into a series of half-hour programs on the network.
"Going into TV reaches a broader audience in terms of numbers," says Adam Rosen, Senior Brand Manager for Stoli at Pernod Ricard USA, which spent 10% of its advertising on GLBT marketing and expects to grow the figure in 2007.
Rosen says that research found that the brand resonated with GLBT consumers twice as much as general consumers, and credits the non-traditional efforts behind "Be Real."\n