Sincere, not sinful: Political ideology and the unique role of brand sincerity in shaping heterosexual and LGBTQ Consumers’ views of LGBTQ ads

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Brand sincerity (wholesome, family-oriented) is a core dimension of brand personality; however, to what extent is LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) representation congruent with brand sincerity? We argue that whether or not LGBTQ representation is considered “wholesome” or “family-friendly,” and how consumers respond to such representation, is dependent on political ideology. Results show that an ad featuring a same-sex (vs. opposite-sex) couple is rated lower in brand sincerity by conservatives, which then uniquely predicts ad attitudes. Conservatives also saw a same-sex couple as more incongruent with a sincere brand, and this incongruence predicted ad attitudes. However, these effects were not found when the brand was exciting. Conversely, LGBTQ consumers’ preferred same-sex couple representation in the context of a sincere (vs. exciting) brand. Finally, an archival analysis of ads found that sincere (vs. exciting) brands represent LGBTQ consumers more favorably. Implications are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shepherd, S; Chartrand, TL; Fitzsimons, GJ

Published Date

  • April 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 250 - 262

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2378-1823

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2378-1815

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/712608

Citation Source

  • Scopus