April/May Issue of Echelon Magazine Available


Check out the newest edition of Echelon Magazine, and be sure to read the article I wrote entitled When Traveling, Be Cautious of the Term “Gay-Friendly” on page 34.

Mexican Brewery Launches Beer Targeted To Gays

Mexican beer maker Minerva Brewery has introduced two new beers targeted specifically to the GLBT community.  The company’s “Queer Beer” is being marketed in two brands: Purple Hand and Salamandra.  Both are brewed with 100% organic honey and malt, with a recipe that “infuses the beer with a citrus flavor that appeals to the taste of the LGBT community,” according to company spokeman Dario Rodriguez Wyler.

Purple Hand takes its name from the 1969 civil rights protest of the Examiner newspaper in San Francisco.  Both beers are already available in some bars and restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico City and the Mexican resorts of Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.  Despite interest, the brand is not yet available in the U.S.

(Anti) Gay Advertisements #24 and #25: Miller Coors

 

If you watch as much TV as I do, you’ve undoubtedly noticed Miller Lite’s “Man Up” series of commercials (example below), which outwardly ostracize males who demonstrate feminine tendencies (like sporting a thong or wearing skinny jeans).  More recently Miller launched the commercial above for its High Life brand, which carries on the company’s apparent opposition to gender diversity.

There are numerous examples of ads in the American media landscape that drip with homophobia, but what makes these commercials notable is that Miller Lite was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in Advertising in 2010 for a series of print ads the brand ran (thanks to Queerty for first pointing this out).

I find it sad that Miller Coors has resorted to low brow attacks on gender diversity to sell booze, especially when the company has historically demonstrated great support for the GLBT community (recently scoring a 100% in HRC’s 2011 Corporate Diversity Index).  What I find incredibly ironic out about the situation is that Miller Lite is generally considered by beer connoisseurs to be flavorless watered-down swill – nothing manly about that!

.Gay Domain Extension May Soon Become Reality

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, recently announced plans to introduce a batch of new domain extensions, and one gay entrepreneur is coughing up the $185,000 application fee to get .gay approved.  Scott Seitz, the chief executive of dotGay and the founder of SPI Marketing, hopes that his application is one of the expected 115+ entries to get approved.

However, before you rush out to register gay.gay, there are numerous obstacles Seitz must overcome before his domain extension dream becomes a reality.  One is ICANN itself.  There is no word how many of the applications the organization plans to approve.

Even if ICANN initially approves .gay, various country’s governments can use their clout to prevent it from ever being fully approved, as the U.S. and Brazil did with the .xxx extension in 2004.  Several conservative Arab nations have already said they will oppose .gay.

Then comes the issue of governance.  Should .gay cross all of the approval hurdles, the domain could become, in part, a forum for hate groups to fill with their vitriol.  Seitz plans to work with groups like GLAAD and Lamda Legal to filter these users and defend the group in the legal battles that will inevitably ensue.

The path may seem daunting, but Seitz remains hopeful.  “We’re getting ready to see the Internet reborn again in a very different way,” he says. “I got involved because I saw what the opportunity was for the gay community. .gay will be a venue for enhancing our ability to interact with each other as a community.”

Trouble Finding A V-Day Card For Your Partner? That Soon May Change

On this high holy day of consumerism, a story on NPR’s Morning Edition pointed out how difficult it can be to find Valentine’s Day cards for same sex partners (you can read or listen to the story here).  Despite a plethora of cards tailored to other demographics, no major greeting card company currently offers cards targeted to the GLBT community.

However, Andre du Broc, a senior writer for industry giant Hallmark, thinks that soon may change.  “We’ve taken baby steps so far,” he says, referring to the company’s line of gay marriage cards released in 2008 when California legalized same sex marriage.  He thinks the company realizes the potential of the GLBT market, but they are being prudent in determining how to get the cards in front of the right consumers.

Judging by the market size and buying power of gay Americans and our proclivity for giving each other cutesy cards, I would guess there’s plenty of money to be made in the gay greeting card business!

Gay Advertisements #22 and #23: Doritos Goes Gay For The Super Bowl?

The gay blogosphere has been abuzz today after Doritos leaked two gay-themed commercials.  Gawker reports Frito Lay, the maker of Doritos, plans to air the ads during the Super Bowl.  However, Towleroad says the ads are just submissions in the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, which I think is probably the case (Doritos will air the winning commercial during the Super Bowl).

It doesn’t appear that either ad is a finalist in the contest.  I’m not surprised, not only because they’re a little too controversial for a mainstream corn chips brand, but because they aren’t particularly good.  The production quality is there, but there’s nothing new/fresh/original about the ads, and the humor is a little lazy.

GLBT Americans Remain More Optimistic About The Economy

The results of a recent survey, released today by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications, indicate that gays and lesbians remain more optimistic about the economy than their heterosexual counterparts.  Nearly four in ten (39%) GLBT respondents believe the economy will improve in the next year, while only 29% of heterosexual survey-takers share this optimism.

Furthermore, 30% of gay and lesbian adults say they feel more secure in their financial situation than last year, while only 19% of heterosexual respondents report feeling more secure.  The results of this survey are in line with previous Harris Interactive surveys, indicating gays and lesbians consistently remains more optimistic about the country’s economy.

Naturally, these survey results are welcome news to companies targeting the GLBT community.  In these tough economic times, marketers continue to search for pockets of consumers willing to open their purse strings.  If you’re a marketer who hasn’t turned an eye to the gay and lesbian community, it might be time.