Ok, I know I have harped on about brands targeting The Gay’s recently but the Gap’s latest ad got my attention for two reasons. One I like Gap, I have fondness for the brand that goes back over years, when I moved to Sydney I was sorry to discover that they did not have stores here. That was rectified recently with a new store opening here. Ok so it’s not the biggest store and maybe I am getting a little too old for Gap clothes, but that said I did walk out of there a few weeks back with three new pairs of jeans and an armful of t-shirts. And reason number two this ad got my attention was of course the fact it features two rather nice looking chaps (no not those kind of chaps, that really would be taking Gap down a new path).
As a brand it has always been popular with gay community so I wonder why it has taken them so long to do something like this, if they have done it before please someone do tell.
Back in the 90’s the brand had a real vibe of being cool as the kids would say, however it is fair to say it has lost that edge it once had and I assume it is now trying to recapture some of that vibe again, I’m not 100% convinced this will do the trick but I applaud them for going with an ad targeting the LGBT community.
The fact that even Obama has now come out in favour of same-sex marriage, might encourage even more brands to take the plunge and start showing same-sex couples in their campaigns (the Pink dollar is not to be scoffed at).
There is no doubt that there still a lot of mainstream homophobic prejudice out there so I understand that brands will need to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of targeting the LGBT community, but how many of them properly research and understand just how loyal LGBT consumers are to brand that support and are loyal to them?
And by that I mean brands that don’t just make a token effort to appeal to the community but commit to them as a loyal customer base that just might have a significant contribution to make in their brand’s efforts to reinvigorate sales and enlarge its customer base.
One obvious example of a brand that has taken a brave step in this direction is JCPenney, under its new “Fair and Square” tagline, it has gone against conservative pressure groups like One Million Moms by partnering with Ellen DeGeneres (she is gay by the way) and making her the brands spokesperson. In addition to this they recently featured a lesbian couple and their daughter on their Mother’s Day catalogue.
These may be baby steps but at least they are steps in the right direction…