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Gay marketing: Cultural indicator or cheap grab?

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agentwhale007 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 June 2012 at 10:13pm
So, Oreo's official Facebook page posted the following image yesterday evening, causing a bit of a ruckus: 


As you can imagine, there was the normal hullabaloo about it. Some claiming they'll never buy another Nabisco product again, some saying they'll rush out and buy a million cases of Oreos tonight. But the fact they thought it was OK to take the risk was interesting. 

Last week, JC Penney caused a similar hullabaloo when they used the following advert for part of a Fathers Day sale: 


Liz Claiborne has done similar adverts recently. 

Despite some calls for boycott, JC Penney and Kraft/Nabisco respectively have stood behind the advertisements, essentially telling those who disagree to go pound sand. In return, they've gotten a big push in word-of-mouth promotion from younger audiences and heavy social networking users. 

So my question to you all for discussion is this: What do you think about large companies, through their marketing and PR firms, getting behind social justice campaigns (Or, the gay train, if you will)? 

Is it indicative that society has changed to the point that it's no longer a net negative to risk using homosexuals in advertisements (Especially considering demographic information indicating that gays have more surplus income) and therefore showcasing a good thing?

Or do you think it "cheapens" the seriousness of the situation to have it used as an endgame to sell more slacks and cookies? 
 
Or is that even an either/or?

Just something that ran through my head tonight. 




Edited by agentwhale007 - 26 June 2012 at 10:19pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gatyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2012 at 10:43pm
Originally posted by agentwhale007 agentwhale007 wrote:

Or do you think it "cheapens" the seriousness of the situation to have it used as an endgame to sell more slacks and cookies?


I'm not sure this is the sort of thing that can be trivialized in such a way. I think that in order for the situation to be cheapened, the executives of the company would have to disingenuously promote homosexual rights (which I think this should be more commonly classified as a human rights thing, since the concept of homosexual rights too narrowly defines the goals that one side of the debate is working toward, but meh) while simultaneously not achieving anything for the homosexual community (or worse denigrating their efforts and being counterproductive) and profiting from their actions.

Obviously these companies believe they can benefit from their PR/ad campaigns (I'm clinging to the axiom that corporations are in it to make money and that they would not actively pursue options that they believe are bad for them), but I think as more and more of these businesses and corporations begin to show support for the homosexual community, there can only be a net gain for homosexuals.

Thus, regardless of the profit motive, I think the seriousness of something like human rights is not mitigated.

Regarding a more general look at what these companies are doing, I'll find it interesting to see how staunchly anti-homosexual consumers decide to act, and whether or not they'll not only follow through on their boycott, but have the presence of mind to stop buying all products from these companies, their parent companies, or the copmanies affiliated with them that contribute to their revenue in some way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scotchyscotch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2012 at 10:55pm
I get both your point and TBH I think that it is fine. 

People can advertise their shizelle (pardon my French) however they want, but I kinda don't see the relevance in trying to punt biscuits. What I do see is the normalisation of same sex couples (which I have no problem with) and hopefully this is as innocent as "Well why not?" rather than "Hey look at us we are so daring with our advertising" or that this is an attempt to just get the poofs onside.

The latter as you said kind of cheapens the idea of the same sex relationship but then again it doesn't do it any more than the stereotype nuclear family image of the 50's, in the same way that dishwashers and wife-to-kitchen chains were marketed at woman and men respectively. Things change, people change and with that the stuff we buy changes along with the reasons we buy it.

But it could be said that there really isn't a message of equality/tolerance but rather that we have a new "token black guy"

*DISCLAIMER*I have the day off tomorrow so this might not make a lot of sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2012 at 10:57pm
Originally posted by scotchyscotch scotchyscotch wrote:

The latter as you said kind of cheapens the idea of the same sex relationship but then again it doesn't do it any more than the stereotype nuclear family image of the 50's, in the same way that dishwashers and wife-to-kitchen chains were marketed at woman and men respectively. Things change, people change and with that the stuff we buy changes along with the reasons we buy it.

Despite understanding very little of your first paragraph, this is legit interesting. I didn't think about it from that perspective. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2012 at 11:08pm
Originally posted by Gatyr Gatyr wrote:

Thus, regardless of the profit motive, I think the seriousness of something like human rights is not mitigated.

I suppose cheapen was a bad verb. 

I guess my question is improvement vs. the null. Do these marketing campaigns help the gay community? Or is it a clean even?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2012 at 11:09pm
Man, Oreos are at the bottom of the cookie food chain. Call me when chocolate chip picks up the mantle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scotchyscotch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2012 at 11:26pm
 People have been bashing gay rights as long as anyone can be arsed to remember so I'm not surprised this will cause some uproar from numpties.

With regards to cheapening the issue I think it all comes down to motive. If this is a cynical attempt at stirring up a PR buzz then it does seem like the cause is being "used" and I would have to object. 

 If these campaigns have been started people genuinely striving for gay rights then I think this would be a tremendous show of support from the companies as a whole. 

The problem lies in that all we have is a picture with a caption associated with a brand with no real idea of why they took the decision to post it. There is right and wrong with 49 shades of a kind of black/white hybrid in between.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote God Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2012 at 11:53pm
I think these companies realize that it it the 21st century and that the closet door is opening. I dont think at the companies are looking to exploit a new consumer base but rather embracing the chang taking place in society. I am willing to bet that over the years thousands of homosexuals worked in advertising and were never able to truely express themselves to a more accepting society.

I am proud to know that the change is occurring in my lifetime.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoboCop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 1:16am
I really hope that cookie comes out. I'll buy a box. So much frosting/creme!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote impulse418 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 2:30am
Seeing the president of JCPenney left the company only a week after their "controversial" ad, says something. Either the ad was a bad idea, or the company was doomed long before hand. And was trying to pull a hail mary.

But what does it matter what companies PR goal is. Some people will like it, some won't. If you don't, don't spend your money.

This has nothing to do about gay rights.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeTrevni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 5:41am
Originally posted by RoboCop RoboCop wrote:

I really hope that cookie comes out. I'll buy a box. So much frosting/creme!!!

The "creme" is the worst part of an Oreo. Double Stuf Oreos are nasty. They got the proportions just right on the regular ones. Don't go futzing with them...

As for them dern homma-sectuls, well, I suppose it's a positive step regardless of motive*. As has been said, change is definitely taking place in modern society. It's shameful that America has taken so long to do so, really.

* I default to the "nothing corporations do is for the good of it" mentality, so this is as nice as I can muster...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 6:10am
Gays and lesbians spent too long fighting for equal rights. This is that. Welcome to the world of spam.

Suck it up.

PS a 7 tier Oreo? I'm there like a bear.

PPS by bear I do not mean overly hairy gay male.

PPPS I do not mean to sound like I am passing judgement on people with lots of body hair.

PPPPS They left out Violet? WTH?

KBK

Edited by Kayback - 27 June 2012 at 6:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 6:17am
Originally posted by impulse418 impulse418 wrote:

Seeing the president of JCPenney left the company only a week after their "controversial" ad, says something.Either the ad was a bad idea, or the company was doomed long before hand. And was trying to pull a hail mary.


I doubt that. Ellen DeGeneres is the JC Penney spokesperson and has been openly gay since 1997. I honestly think they are just tapping into a fairly under tapped resource.

Gays and lesbians have money, right? Why not take it from them?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 6:37am
I can't see this being done as a profit grab. The inevitable boycotts and controversy will do nothing good, and Oreos are a pre-established brand that practically advertise themselves. It's not like they needed to get their name on the news.

Assuming it was a move strictly to forward a gay rights agenda I give them props. We vote with our wallets and it's nice to a company take a chance for a cause regardless of where you stand on the issue. Anyone can support animal conservation or education funds, but it takes some guts to endorse heated political issues.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 6:40am
Also, I saw the cookie ad on George Takei's Facebook today with an interesting twist. If you don't follow his page you're missing out, he's hilarious.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 7:17am
While some may disagree with homosexuality for spiritual reasons, Christians shouldn't judge. Time would be better spent looking in the mirror for faults and sins. Open and continual commentary of others issues is a convenient tactic that people use as a distraction from addressing their own issues.

I consider this a huge problem with society. Lying to ones self.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ceesman762 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 7:37am


these are sooooo good....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 8:38am
Originally posted by Kayback Kayback wrote:

Gays and lesbians spent too long fighting for equal rights. This is that. Welcome to the world of spam.

Suck it up.

PS a 7 tier Oreo? I'm there like a bear.

PPS by bear I do not mean overly hairy gay male.

PPPS I do not mean to sound like I am passing judgement on people with lots of body hair.

PPPPS They left out Violet? WTH?

KBK


Your PPS and your PPPPS seem to be in conflict.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BARREL BREAK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 1:02pm

The idea that large corporate entities do anything for reasons beyond profit is absurd, it's free publicity from the vocal minority of bigots.

 

Originally posted by stratoaxe stratoaxe wrote:

Also, I saw the cookie ad on George Takei's Facebook today with an interesting twist. If you don't follow his page you're missing out, he's hilarious.
Thanks, grandma. 



Edited by BARREL BREAK - 27 June 2012 at 1:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kc1253 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2012 at 1:43pm
I remember when they started featuring blacks in national ad campaigns.  I remember ground-breaking TV icons like Diahann Carroll in Julia.
Were these African-American "insertions" promoting the "black agenda?"
Well, if the agenda was equality, then yes.
So today, is "gay marketing" a cultural indicator?  Is it just another way to make money?
Yes and Yes.
Many national companies have had ads like these for years.  They just weren't seen by the general public, but ran in gay-affirming sites and magazines.
I think it's just part of the natural progression of an oppressed group gaining acceptance and equality.
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