Signals and Cues: LGBT Inclusive Advertising and Consumer Attraction, pp. 37-46

George B. Cunningham
E. Nicole Melton

Drawing from signaling theory and creative capital theory, the purpose of this study was to examine the influence of advertising inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals on consumers’ intentions to join a fitness club. The authors also considered the moderating effects of consumer gender and social dominance orientation. Participants (N = 203) took part in an experiment where they reviewed fitness club advertisements and then responded to a questionnaire. Persons who viewed LGBT inclusive advertisements were more likely to believe the club was diverse and inclusive (based on racial diversity, sex diversity, and sexual orientation and gender identity diversity) than were those who viewed non-inclusive advertisements. Logistic regression showed that club diversity, gender, and social dominance orientation interacted to predict intentions to join the club: for women, low levels of SDO were associated with greater intentions to join a diverse fitness club, while high levels of SDO were not associated with join intentions. For men, neither low levels nor high levels of SDO were associated with intentions to join a diverse fitness club. Marketing implications are discussed.