Wavemaker Hold LGBTQ+ Panel To Celebrate London Pride

To celebrate London Pride, Wavemaker got together a panel with formidable experience of bringing LGBTQ+ marketing into the mainstream. They discussed the opportunities – and the potential pitfalls – of targeting LGBTQ+ communities in their communications.

The panelists included: Andrew Sanderson, Customer Marketing Manager at Thomas Cook Airlines, Antonia Bonello, Buzzfeed Art and Partnerships Director, Darren Clapich, Founder of Othervox, Maya-Liam Haynes, Social Media Assistant at RNIB, and  Peter Heneghan, Head of Communications at LADbible Group. Below is a write up of the key points from the panel,

Panelists

Andrew Sanderson, Customer Marketing Manager at Thomas Cook Airlines

Antonia Bonello, Buzzfeed Art and Partnerships Director, recently named one of the 100 significant women in native advertising

Darren Clapich, Founder of Othervox, an LGBTQ Audience Targeting specialist agency

Maya-Liam Haynes, Social Media Assistant at RNIB, identifies themselves as Non-binary / Gender fluid

Peter Heneghan, Head of Communications at LADbible Group

Moderator

Hayati Alaluf, Senior Journey Designer, Wavemaker

To celebrate London Pride, Wavemaker got together a panel with formidable experience of bringing LGBTQ+ marketing into the mainstream. They discussed the opportunities – and the potential pitfalls – of targeting LGBTQ+ communities in their communications.

Andrew Sanderson from Thomas Cook described himself as a “southern, posh, white and straight,” and said that going to Manchester Pride was “hugely educational” for him. “You kind of assume you know stuff and you know what you’re meant to say, but you just don’t know anything,” he said. Listening to people, hearing their stories, and talking about what’s important to them massively informed how we now talk as a brand to our audiences.”

Thomas Cook’s many LGBT staff, particularly in the airline’s cabin crew, can take the credit for opening the company’s eyes to the importance of targeting the LGBT community, and not just in its headline sponsorship of Manchester Pride, but all year round by representing all people equally, whether BAME or white, straight or LGBT.

All the participants agreed on the importance of inclusion in every aspect of their businesses and their marketing. Antonia Bonello at Buzzfeed said, “It isn’t a case of deciding to include gay people, we just do it.”

At LADBible, Peter Heneghan talked about the importance of getting out of the echo chamber of LGBT audiences and working to shift perceptions on a wider level.

The old stereotype LGBT person from sitcoms of the last century has gone, but we are in danger of creating new stereotypes, warned Darren Clapich at Othervox. He said that the cliché of the white middle class gay couple with a child under three was used too often in marketing, and that brands must move beyond that safe space and push the boundaries of representing LGBT people further.

Advertising is part of the zeitgeist, and while it can’t solve society’s problems, it can help, by featuring greater representation of LGBT people. Antonia Bonello at Buzzfeed said, “Everyone has a duty to push it forward.”

LADBible would never work with an advertiser on a campaign that wasn’t inclusive. They recently turned down an approach from a major oil company because it didn’t fit with their “Trash Isles” environmental campaign, and they also refuse tobacco and smoking ads.

But sticking to your principles can be hard. Andrew Sanderson said that Thomas Cook flies to the Caribbean, where in some nations homosexuality is still illegal. The company won’t stop flying there, but it does stay away from advertising these destinations during August when Manchester Pride is held.

The panelists agreed that Pride has become pretty commercial, but it is a good starting point for advertisers to get involved with the LGBT communities. To really engage with the audience – and not be accused of jumping on the bandwagon – they need to target LGBT consumer all year round. 

Links

https://www.wavemakerglobal.com/

 

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