85% of the general population consider social and political impact when considering brands 39% of Millennials and GenZers want more LGBTQ+ content
LOS ANGELES, October 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — CX Intelligence Platform DISQO and Do the WeRQa non-profit organization increasing LGBTQ+ representation in marketing and advertising, released today new perspectives about advertising and the LGBTQ+ alliance. The LGBTQ+ population is America’s fastest growing minority segment, generating $1.4 trillion in annual expenses, highlighting the need for brands to engage this audience with authentic community impact. In the second year of the study, encouragingly, more people recalled seeing LGBTQ+ inclusive ads, however, more than one in five said there should be less LGBTQ+ content.
“The cultural and economic influence of the LGBTQ+ community is underestimated, and most marketers fail on two counts: pursuing niche marketing strategies rather than generalizing, and compartmentalising their declared ally from the rest of their business practices,” said Kate Wolf, Do the co-president of WeRQ, programming and operations. “Our findings show that it’s increasingly important to be fully authentic, from marketing to the workplace to political engagements.”
Evolution of recall and receptivity to LGBTQ+ content
People are experiencing an increase in the volume and diversity of LGBTQ+ content, but the authenticity and mainstream presence of the content is not as advanced.
- General reminder: Less than 7% did not recall seeing LGBTQ+ advertising, down from nearly 20% in 2021.
- Receptivity: This year, more people said they wanted more LGBTQ+ content (31% vs. 21% last year). Also, fewer people said they wanted less (22% this year vs. 27% last year). However, despite this progress, there remains a concern that more than a fifth said there should be less inclusiveness.
- DE&I: 26% said there should be about the same amount of LGBTQ+ content, but with more diversity in representations. However, 27% recall seeing LGBTQ+ people of color and 20% recall seeing transgender or non-binary people – both higher than the recall of ads with gay/queer men (20%) and lesbian women /queer (19%).
- Niche marketing: LGBTQ+ people were more likely to recall representation in content designed for them (57%) compared to mainstream content (33%).
- Authenticity: Overall, only 52% agreed that LGBTQ+ ads were genuine; 64% of LGBTQ+ people agreed with authenticity, while only 49% of non-LGBTQ+ people agreed.
“We believe there is a real opportunity for brands to improve LGBTQ+ representation. Visibility drives progress, and brands can be powerful allies for visibility,” said David Azulay, Omnicom’s Chief Customer Officer and Global Co-Chair, OPEN Pride – ERG LGBTQ+ at Omnicom. “While we were encouraged by the progress in the number of people recalling seeing inclusive content this year, the continued divide in receptivity based on demographic background as well as the increase in people saying advertising was already inclusive enough for LGBTQ+ people were disappointing.”
The role of brands in social activism
With some brands caught up in controversy over the proliferation of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, perceptions about brands and social activism were also examined. Overall, consumers recognize the power of a brand in advancing DE&I advancements, and most make purchasing decisions with the brand’s stance on issues in mind.
- Do brands have influence? 72% think brands influence LGBTQ+ rights.
- Should brands be involved? 74% said companies should get involved in social issues such as DE&I, racial equality, gender equality and the social economy.
- Do consumers reward or punish brands that take a stand? 85% consider a brand’s social and political activities when shopping; less than 15% said they “never thought about it”. 54% said they didn’t buy a product or service because they disagreed with a brand’s position on an issue important to them.
- Have brands helped LGBTQ+ people? Nearly half said brands have played an important role in kickstarting LGBTQ+ progress (65% for people who identify as LGBTQ+).
The Future Influence of Millennials and Gen Z
Members of Gen Z already wield enormous economic influence independently and through their families; they will reach an estimate 67 million inhabitants and $33 trillion in expenses by 2030. Demonstrating a brand purpose aligned with their values (as well as those of Millennials) is crucial.
- More connected to LGBTQ+: 67% of 18-24 year olds said they have a family member or close friend who identifies as LGBTQ+.
- You want more inclusive content: 39% said they want more LGBTQ+ content; 70% think it’s important for content to be inclusive.
- You want a brand ally: 76% believe brands influence LGBTQ+ rights and 53% said brands should get involved in social issues.
- Will reward or punish brands: 72% said they think about brands’ social and political activities when shopping; 58% didn’t buy from a brand because they disagreed with their position on an issue, and 50% went out of their way to buy a product because the brand supported an important issue for them.
“Next-gen consumers will settle for nothing less than brands that lead with purpose and holistic authenticity,” said David Grabert, Vice President of Brand and Communications at DISQO. “They will use their unrivaled access to information and digital portfolios to empower brands. Our insights show that brands need to fully connect their brand purpose to the company’s holistic DE&I initiatives, so that every customer experience is aligned.”
The study of over 9,000 consumers was conducted using DISQO’s CX intelligence platform between June 6 and 27, 2022. To download the report, visit here.
About Do the WeRQ
Founded in 2020, Do the WeRQ is a community and platform with a clear and important mission: to increase LGBTQ+ creativity, representation and voice in the marketing and advertising industry. Our members and volunteers strive to inspire, mobilize and celebrate lasting and visible change. In pursuit of this mission, Do the WeRQ creates and leads a range of initiatives, including research and data solutions, insightful programming and networking opportunities – including some of the most talented thought leaders and the proudest in the industry. Follow @DotheWeRQ on Twitter and instagram.
DISQO is the CX intelligence platform to understand every customer experience. Businesses trust DISQO to make better decisions for every customer, touchpoint, and outcome. DISQO’s insights, agile testing, and advertising measurement products are powered by millions of consumers on the industry’s largest opt-in consumer data platform. DISQO is recognized in the Deloitte Fast 500 and is part of the Top 100 Next Gen Workplace. Follow @DISQO on LinkedIn and Twitter.