Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tall, Dark and Handsome Please

Just days ago, we noticed that gay advertising is slowly featuring more black models. Most of these are inter-racial couples, not necessarily a social statement but more likely the advertisers' method to maximize impact. There are some notable exceptions: Look around, you'll be surprised to see a number of gay advertising campaigns that feature black and Latin and models. Solo. Not surprisingly, several promote dating and lifestyle services. Who wouldn't want to date a tall, dark and handsome?

The uber-phine Manjam man adverts can be seen on high-traffic gay sites such as Made in Brazil, Manchic, Oh la la Paris, One Stop Hot and Towleroad. The seriously cool, UK-based firm promises to work your assets to the max. It combines home, work and social life so members get housed, employed and laid all from one site. Now why didn't I think of that? Grant Mitchell—one of the site's promoters—told me via email that the advertising reflects the population. "There is no Manjam man as such. The initial idea was to reflect diversity." That's hot.

Another successful campaign can be found in the pages of NYC-based HX. For a few years, the "Totally Biased Politically Incorrect Party Paper" has run numerous spots that feature black, white or Latin men. The message is that sophisticated NYC gay men comes in all colors, and everyone can relate to the models. Here, here. Go to the weekly mag's demographic data for advertisers (PDF is here), where you'll see tons of lucrative data, complemented with cover models of both sexes and colors. BTW, that's gorgeous Corey at left and at top of the reader survey.