Exploring heterosexual responses to lesbian and gay-themed advertisements in South Africa
Keywords:Lesbian and gay-themed adverts, LGBTQ, Heterosexual customers, Brand attitudes, Marketing communication, Advertising
There has been an increase in lesbian and gay-themed advertisements in mainstream media in South Africa. This suggests that brands are starting to acknowledge LGBTQ consumers as an important consumer market needing representation in advertisements. However, to date little empirical research has examined the response of heterosexual consumers to lesbian and gay-themed advertisements. Therefore, this study examined the impact of tolerance of homosexuality on attitudes towards lesbian and gay-themed advertisements and brands. The findings revealed that participants with a high tolerance towards homosexuality have more positive attitudes towards advertisements and brands. The attitudes towards the advertisements have a significant positive influence on the attitude towards the brand. In addition, the study revealed that heterosexual men exposed to lesbian and gay- themed advertisements tend to have negative attitudes towards advertisements compared to heterosexual women. Managerial implications are discussed.
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