Beyond Pride: Embracing Authentic LGBTQ+ Representation 365

June 20, 2024
by Santiago Solutions Group

In a recent webinar hosted by AIMM, experts from SSG and Target 10 shared, Carlos Santiago and Matt Tumminello, share valuable insights and strategies for brands aiming to authentically connect with LGBTQ+ consumers. The session emphasized the importance of moving beyond stereotypes and tokenism to create genuine, inclusive marketing that resonates with the diverse LGBTQ+ community. 

Research presented during the webinar highlighted the need for improved representation, with 53% of LGBTQ+ individuals feeling unseen in ads and 51% seeing stereotypical portrayals, according to the latest 2024 CIIM tracker. Authentic representation not only fosters acceptance but also builds brand loyalty, as positive and accurate portrayals leave a lasting impression on LGBTQ+ consumers. 

The growing significance of the LGBTQ+ population cannot be ignored, with 7.2% of U.S. adults identifying as LGBTQ+ (Gallup 2023) and 24% among Gen Z adults (Public Religion Research Institute 2024). However, despite this, LGBTQ+ representation in advertising remains minimal, with only 3% of TV ads featuring LGBTQ+ individuals (GLAAD 2023). 

To bridge the gap between current practices and genuine connections, the experts provided several actionable recommendations for brands: 

  1. Ensure authentic representation by including LGBTQ+ voices in marketing decisions and collaborating with queer content creators. Avoid tokenism and embrace intersectionality by showcasing diverse bodies, races, and ethnicities. 
  2. Demonstrate continuous engagement and support beyond Pride Month to build trust and authenticity with LGBTQ+ consumers. Don’t ghost the community after June. 
  3. Align with values that benefit the LGBTQ+ community, lean into vulnerability, and commit to ongoing support and inclusion to demonstrate genuine allyship. 
  4. Move beyond stereotypes and glamorized ideas of the LGBTQ+ experience. Reflect the diverse and real experiences of the community in advertising. 

By implementing these strategies, brands can create marketing that resonates authentically with LGBTQ+ consumers, leading to stronger loyalty and brand affinity. The insights shared during the webinar serve as a valuable roadmap for navigating the evolving landscape of inclusive marketing and fostering meaningful connections with the LGBTQ+ community year-round. 

As Carlos Santiago (SSG) and Matt Tumminello (Target 10) emphasized, it is time for brands to move beyond Pride Month and embrace genuine, ongoing support for the LGBTQ+ community. By doing so, they not only contribute to a more inclusive society but also unlock the potential for long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with LGBTQ+ consumers. 

About us

For 20 years, Santiago Solutions Group (SSG) has guided growth pathways for scalable returns by uncovering cultural and marketplace insights.
These insights forge the fact-based foundation for effective business and brand growth strategies aligned with cultural insights across Hispanic & Asian acculturation levels, Black, LGBTQ, Non-Hispanic White, Gen Z, Millennials, and other segments.

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