Jaguar targets gay drivers

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com December 19 2002 1:00 AM ET

Ford Motor Co.'s Jaguar brand plans to launch an advertising campaign targeting gay consumers, company officials said. The campaign sprang from a major internal study at Ford and Jaguar on how to reach gay consumers, The Detroit News reported Wednesday. Ford estimates there are some 14 million gay and lesbian consumers in the United States who wield $450 billion in purchasing power. "They spend more money on luxury cars, and they have more money to spend," Jaguar spokesman Simon Sproule said. "They are very loyal to brands and organizations that talk to them in a way that is relevant." Automobile advertisements aimed at gay consumers are fairly common in Europe, Australia, and other markets but are rare in the United States.

Jaguar, the Ford-owned maker of British luxury cars, realized in recent years that many gay consumers were visiting its dealer showrooms. Later this month Jaguar will begin running print ads in magazines that reach gays and lesbians, including The Advocate. If the effort proves successful for Jaguar, other Ford brands are likely to develop campaigns targeting gays, Sproule said.

Ford's Global Marketing organization and Witeck-Combs Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based strategic marketing and public relations firm specializing in the gay and lesbian market, developed the comprehensive strategy.