Gay pride events like Seattle’s celebrate and commemorate Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) culture and the decades-long fight for equality. The long march toward civil rights and societal acceptance has made tremendous progress—especially with the recent establishment of federal marriage equality.
With greater acceptance of the gay community and relationships, business is increasingly focusing on the gay market. Here we’ve highlighted some of the major companies that are building LGBTQ outreach into their advertising strategies. From Seattle-based companies such as Nordstrom to other big-name retailers including Target and Zappos, companies recognize the tremendous value offered by the gay community. These brands no longer regard the gay market as a specialized niche. Instead, gay individuals, couples and families with children are regarded as mainstream as longstanding markets in the heterosexual community.
Unfortunately, some groups remain opposed to equality and acceptance in this new era of marketing. For example, “One Million Moms” is an activist group that is dedicated to protesting any branding that is inclusive of gay identity. One of the most prominent campaigns was against Ellen DeGeneres serving as spokesperson for JC Penny. While this campaign was short-lived, lasting just three days, it nevertheless demonstrates that old prejudices remain.
But the hard-won progress that the LGBTQ community has earned, from marriage to the marketplace, is here to stay. Our society continues to grow in its recognition of the inherent dignity of all people—it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s also simply good business. In Washington state, Nyhus is proud to have been part of the push toward marriage equality, and the proliferation of equality in branding shows that we’re in good company.
This year, some of the brands that are publicly reaching out to the gay community are also the best behind-the-scenes supporters of equality, with workplace policies, benefits and practices that respect sexual orientation and gender identity. For each of the ads below, we’ve looked at the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and included these brands’ stellar scores alongside their creative marketing and advertising. Which are your favorites?
Nordstrom (2014, but worth noting because of this year’s Tweet) – HRC Corporate Equality Index score: 100%
Nordstrom (2015) – HRC Corporate Equality Index score: 100%
Love is love. #?? #pridemonth #nordstrom A photo posted by Nordstrom (@nordstrom) on
Wells Fargo (2015) – HRC Corporate Equality Index score: 100%
Chobani (2015) – HRC Corporate Equality Index score: not rated
Tylenol (2015), by Johnson & Johnson – HRC Corporate Equality Index score: 100%
Target (2015) – HRC Corporate Equality Index score: 100%