More representation equals greater LGBTQ acceptance: study
A study conducted by Proctor & Gamble and GLAAD has revealed that more LGBTQ representation in ads and other media is more likely to push greater LGBTQ acceptance.
The research on consumer attitudes toward LGBTQ people– called the LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media report— was based on survey data from over 2,000 no-LGBTQ adults in the US last November and December 2019.
LGBTQ acceptance is based on familiarity
The study found out that more than two-thirds or 68 percent of respondents of non-LGBTQ people feel better about supporting brands that put LGBTQ people in their ads.
Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer, said: “When you have greater visibility of people who are LGBTQ, then you increase acceptance.”
“It’s human nature that familiarity can lead to a greater degree of acceptance,” Pritchard said.
By showing LGBTQ people in advertising campaigns, non-LGBTQ people were more comfortable when an LGBTQ family would move into their neighborhood as compared to those that hadn’t seen similar ads or films recently.
“Across the board, people felt that seeing LGBTQ people in ads helped them understand and build education around LGBTQ, which grows acceptance,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
If ads are done “properly” with LGBTQ people in front of and behind the camera, this has a “positive impact on a brand” as well, Ellis said.
Inclusivity leads to better brand recognition
Majority of respondents also believe that companies that include LGBTQ people in their ads are more socially responsible, treat their employees with respect, and are committed to offering products to all customers.
Specifically, 86 percent of respondents say these ads reflects the company’s support of LGBTQ rights. Meanwhile, 85 percent said it shows a company’s commitment to offering products to all types of customers.
Moreover, 82 percent said these reflect the company’s value for all kinds of diversity. Lastly, 80 percent said it shows the company is making a statement about the importance of recognizing LGBTQ people.
Pritchard said this is because the brands’ ads show “that they see people and they understand people, and that creates a higher degree of trust.”
He cited their own ad of their shaving brand Gillette released last year showing a man teaching his trans son how to shave.
Pritchard said: “Shaving is a very important ritual, a rite of passage. So, it makes sense for Gillette to show a transgender man shaving for the first time with his dad.”
LGBTQ acceptance is good for business
Ellis lauded P&G for being “on the cutting edge” of authentic content that includes the LGBTQ community
She further said the study sends “a strong message to brands and media outlets that including LGBTQ people in ads, films and TV is good for business and good for the world.”
She added: “As we move into Pride month, the big question will be: ‘Who is not participating?’ This is a time for marketers to really step up.”
On the other hand, Pritchard said they still have “a lot to learn and we are truly at the beginning of our journey to master LGBTQ inclusion in our brand building efforts.”
GLAAD worked with P&G on a film on the power of LGBTQ visibility in advertising, “They Will See You.” It was shown on CNN via the Great Big Story last May 28.