How Gay-Friendly Ads Affect What You Buy Your Kids

20 months.

Rainbow is the new pink. Literally.

I’m not against raising money and awareness for cancer, but for the past couple of years now, I feel like I’m one of the only people willing to point out the irony of buying junk food with a pink ribbon on the package.

Yes, some of the money goes to find a cure for cancer. But also, eating junk food doesn’t help prevent cancer. Quite the opposite.

Even if it’s pop culture heresy, I’m willing to say it: Pink sells. It’s a convenient marketing strategy that most people aren’t willing to criticize.

Turns out, selling cancer awareness with the color pink has inspired a new trend that’s starting to pop up: Gay-friendly ads.

They’re perfect because they create a lot of buzz among the exact demographic they are going after:

Eighteen to 34 year-olds; most of whom are Generation Y, a group of young adults who likes to be known for being open-minded and accepting.

Sure, there are those who are personally offended by seeing JC Penney’s “Gay Dad Ad” or Kraft’s Oreo ”Rainbow Cookie” ad.

But the percentage of those who are upset enough to actually not buy the product is evidently irrelevant in comparison to all those who will either deliberately or subconsciously prefer a brand or product because of a gay-friendly ad.

Somewhere between 1% and 3% of Americans are gay; about 4 million people. But that’s enough to culturally divide the rest of us over it.

Here’s where it gets tricky. It’s gotten to the point now where it’s clearly politically incorrect to not support gay marriage.

What does gay marriage have to do with chicken? Ask the people banning Chick-fil-A.

The funny thing is, I can’t find where Chick-fil-A’s President Dan Cathy actually even used the phrase “gay marriage” in an interview. (Will someone please link proof of it in a comment for me?)

Yet Chick-fil-A is apparently being banned by the Muppets and the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, over this.

I find it extremely ironic that people are banning Chick-fil-A in the name of accepting others when they are not accepting of those who do not endorse gay marriage.

At the same time, I’m cool with gay-friendly ads. Nor do I oppose gay marriage; as recognized by the State.

But let’s be honest about what this really is.

These gay-friendly ads are a marketing strategy. That’s why more brands are using them. And they are evidently working.

What can we expect in the future? More gay-friendly ads.

Especially advertising products to parents who do the shopping for food and clothing for the household.

Will you buy your kid Oreos because you saw their rainbow ad? Kraft thinks you will. Same thing with JC Penney.

I predict that it’s only a matter of time before we see a gay-friendly diaper ad. I give it until the end of the year.

Instead of a faux denim diaper, why not a rainbow diaper?

Update since original publishing…

Here are two links that give more background on what Mr. Cathy actually said:

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  1. by Laci

    On July 26, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Why must rainbow = gay? Heck, I’ll buy rainbow diapers simply because they’re rainbow diapers, haha!

  2. by Nick Shell

    On July 26, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Laci, I agree :) I would totally buy them too!

  3. by E.M.

    On July 31, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Where the confusion over the Chick Fil A “scandal” if you will, comes from is the fact that they don’t just “not support gay marriage”, they actually financially contribute to anti-gay organizations such as Exodus International and the Family Research Council. That’s not what I would consider a “live and let live” kind of attitude. So let’s definitely clear that up. They’re not just passively having ideas, thoughts, feelings about something. They are a well-funded business contributing large amounts of money to ANTI-GAY organizations.

    Rainbow Oreos? I’d buy em.

  4. by Jeana

    On July 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    How is it any different that people are promoting ANTI-Chick Fil A compaigns? I respect that gay people have a right to live their life the way they want, but why do they feel the need to shove it everyone’s face and then get mad that not everyone likes that lifestyle shoved into their favorite cookie.

  5. by Nick Shell

    On July 31, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    E.M. I think you should use this opportunity to explain how Exodus International and the Family Research Council are anti-gay. I never heard of them before.

  6. by RT

    On July 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    How do gay men acquire children and become “Dads”? Usually from poverty stricken Indian women acting as surrogates and going through dangerous medical procedures and having their birth child taken away from them – all for a pittance. How do gay men look after children – with an army of night nannies and day nannies. I am not anti gays particularly but gay men have no need for children – they are not in any way maternal and its just a trend made popular by Elton John.

  7. by kelly

    On July 31, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    E.m. Is pro-marriage and anti-gay synonymous now? Sounds like that’s what you are saying. I guess it follows that pro-gay is anti-marriage. In fact, that would make sense. But, instead, you just want to change what marriage is/has been. This is where the “rub” comes into play. You’ve got to honestly look at it that you are trying to come in and mess with people’s life-guiding principles (religion/God). There are people genuinely helped by Exodus and Family Research. Just because that isn’t YOU, doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Here again, goes back to the point the author is making. You are asking people to be tolerant when it suits you, but find it totally okay to be rude, bullying and worse to those who want to hold on to their own views and beliefs. A tad hypocritical? I’m saying yes.

  8. by Cooper Smith Koch

    On August 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for this post. I’m the dad on the right in the JCPenney ad.

    First of all, no where in the JCPenney catalog did they talk about gay marriage or even call us husbands. It was all about showcasing the diversity of fatherhood and it showed a loving moment between us and our kids. The photo spread was 1.5 pages of a 96-page catalog that also featured black dads, Hispanic dads, Asian dads, handicapped dads, red-headed dads and every other type of diverse attribute you can think of. If gays make up 1-3% of the population, that ratio holds true in the catalog.

    To the comment about how gays become dads – the use of quotation marks around “dad” is offensive. I’m just as much a dad to my children as you are to yours. I love them just as much, and I have the same worries and concerns about them that you do. There is absolutely no difference in my ability to be a good parent as there is in yours.

    Both of our kids are adopted, from here in the United States in fact. Both were given up by their birth parents, and then again at birth by the straight couples who were going to originally adopt them – because one had drugs and the other was the wrong gender. In other words, they were failed twice by straight couples before a gay couple accepted them unconditionally (and with hours’ notice).

    Our kids needed us as much as we wanted them. How anyone can see anything wrong with that is beyond my ability to comprehend.

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