Examiner | by Gregory Kelly | 09/27/12
Today the gay news media has been addressing the problems of gay ads, that deal with marriage equality, not having the right elements to express the issues, of the gay community, to voters that have not seen the light. Just today online media outlets such asQueerty and Yakima.com have published articles that do bring up a valid point that you can’t have a real gay ad without the essential ingredient of showing the face of the gay community.
Yes, advertisements must appeal to the people organizations wish to affect. In the case of marriage equality the LGBTQ want to appeal to the hearts of people that are straddling or on the opposing side of the gay marriage fence. That demographic will most likely be heterosexual members of mainstream America. No doubt that is a broad scope and description to tweak a marketing strategy to and we are talking about marketing at the end of the day. So creating ads that influence those particular Americans instead of turning them off, to the idea of equal marriage, is a tricky business.
Some of the new gay marriage ads that you see don’t have gay people in them. They show normal everyday Americans expressing their situation of having a gay member in their family and how that affects them. When you think about it the ads are very smart. Relating to the viewers that you want to reach from a second person point of view could be the way to. Of course the first person view would come from a gay person and that is what some in the gay community feel is missing to drive the point home.
So what would be the perfect ad to reach the masses of traditional Americans? What image would be most effective in touching the hearts of mainstream America? May be a mix of concepts where the second point of view is mostly conveyed and a hint of “first person” gay couples show up in the advertisement. There can’t be too much gay affection because that vision might turn off those uncomfortable to see real gay people doing real loving things like care for each other. It has to be enough of each element to display the realness of Americans living happy lives that happens to have gay family members and they are all able to be a productive loving family, if everyone has the same rights.
There can’t be too much talking because hearing a feminine voice from a gay man or too much of a manly voice from a lesbian will spark that image in the minds of mainstream Americans that consist of not normal. The whole goal of the ad is to relate to the target audience as much as possible. Gay organizations need to transform an image of something seen as different into a picture more similar. That would be the perfect ad.
So, let’s get back to reality. In the real world gay people are who they are. And, yes having gay people in these ads would certainly steal the show and probably turn off most of the voters these pivotal marriage equality ballots need to be success in favor of marriage equality. Most gay people would agree that more gay representation should be visual within these advertisements but that would be appealing to the gay community and not to the ones teetering on opposition.
So let’s have faith that the gay organizations representing us know what they are doing and will paint the gay community in the best light to reach the most people possible.