It’s party time, well it is for the LGBT community, or as we say in Sydney Happy Bla de Bla. We have the Winter Part Festival (WPF) taking place over in Miami and Mardi Gras is well under way here in Sydney with the main event taking place this weekend. This can be a very busy time for the party minded girl or boy about town with heaps of events to choose from and lots of parties to strut your stuff at.
However, this year there are others coming to the party, big brands are wising up to the power of the Pink Dollar and as such are doing more and more to try and target the LGBT community at this time of year. Some brands are only just catching on but others have been on board for some time now. For example Showtime in the States has been a key sponsor of some ground breaking shows such as Queer as Folk and The L Word, and this year will be will be promoting Nurse Jackie (which has a bit of a cult following among Lesbians, I wonder if my sister watches it?). And here in Australia Clinique, which is a newer player in this area, have opened a pop up store on Oxford St, a key focal point for Mardi Gras visitors.
Note these are not small-fry brands, they are brands with international reputations and lots of credibility within their own sectors. And they are not alone; WPF is being supported by Office Depot, Coca-Cola and Grey Goose while MG is being supported by Virgin Australia, ANZ, Google and Finlandia Vodka.
At the same time others, who may not be sponsors are running marketing activity aimed at the LGBT community, Durex being a great example with a print ad featuring a huge cock (that got your attention, it’s a feathered kind) here in Australia. It’s great to see these brands making an effort to target what many say is a ‘loyal’ consumer group, according to a recent survey by Harris Integrative “7 out of 10 LGBT consumers say they are likely to remain loyal to a brand they believe is friendly and supportive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community even when less friendly companies offer lower prices or are more convenient”.
However, LGBT consumers don’t just spend at this time of year, like any consumer they shop all year round and in the States this equate to an “annual buying power nearing $1 trillion” (Harris). Most research into possible figures of the size of the LGBT community estimate that 1 in 10 are same sex attracted, that’s over 31 million Americans and 2.2 million Australians, that’s no small consumer base and these brands ought to be thinking about how to target this group throughout the year, not just when we come out and party.
As Ben Mulcahy of Pink Media Group puts it, “Smart, forward thinking companies are starting to develop long term strategies to communicate with this demographic. Gay and lesbian consumers are savvy, we will support organisations who support us”.
Now on that note, I’ll be off to spend some of my Pink Dollars….