Food For Thought ~
A LGBTQ's Opinion of Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day is a marketer’s love story—it’s a time for companies to capitalize on a holiday that promotes indulgence and increased spending during a month when sales are usually slow. Like it or not, it’s a marketer’s job to target the right market at the right time, and capitalize on opportunities to make a sale. Advertising filled with romantic images, in particular, happy togetherness between a man and a woman, might resonate with consumers in a heterosexual relationship. But if you’re not part of that group, you’re not buying.
Everywhere I look, I see advertising and how images are used to tell a story. As a bisexual female dating a woman, rarely do I see any that reflects the everyday world I inhabit. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Interestingly enough, the common marketing practice of highlighting particular relationships in advertising can punish sales and consumers’ willingness to indulge themselves, reveals research from consumer psychologist Lisa Cavanaugh.
Advertisements regularly remind us of valued social relationships to influence our buying behavior. Cavanaugh’s research states that relationship reminders can influence a person’s perceived deservingness, and when they see imagery that they cannot relate to or feel they fall short of, their propensity to consume minimizes.
So many people around the world can’t live openly as gay or queer. I think more visibility through marketing is needed. During a time when people are polarized into two competing groups, we need to work on being more inclusive, more understanding of different walks of life.
Businesses are trying so hard to make money around the world and pander to a paying audience. You’ve got the likes of anti-gay institutions and close-minded people that make up a portion of the buyers, but seeing companies support the LGBTQ+ community despite that speaks volumes.
I believe brands’ decisions to integrate authentic LGBTQ+ content into their marketing is a brave and crucial move, as they are actively turning away from the cash of the anti-LGBTQ+ and creating a more inclusive environment for everyone.
Through my experience I realized that I can’t rely solely on advertisers to make that progress, I need to be part of the process. To that end, I’ve decided to share this work as an act of love for my community, to show that love is love and that as a consumer, advertisers need to reflect the world in which we live. It’s great to celebrate love, even on a day that is dwarfed by consumer spending, but it’s even better when it’s shared with everyone.
Written By: Juliette Hofman
PC: Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/couple-walking-on-city-street-307791/
Photo by Reshma Chowdhury from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-roses-valentine-s-day-flowers-47258/