ABSTRACT

Niche marketing to the LGBTQ+ community is popular in branded content and media marketing, but many corporations still operate in ways that disconnect rather than increase connection to this group. Social media engagement has created new avenues for interaction between corporations and LGBTQ+ customers and allies. This study sought to understand audience perception of gay-themed messages from brands with varying degrees of authenticity by examining how projected brand values align with actual brand practices as it concerns LGBTQ+ advocacy and protective workplace policies.