Financial services, alcoholic beverages and travel companies are among the most LGBT-inclusive in their advertising and marketing, according to a new study from Logo.
The Viacom-owned TV network has released its first "Trailblazing Companies" list, ranking the brands that have demonstrated a public commitment to LGBT people and issues through advertising, communications and other public initiatives. The list, created with Witeck Communications, ranked brands that already received 100% scores on the Human Rights Campaign's 2015 Corporate Equality Index according to criteria such as inclusive advertising, policy support, digital video and social media, and spokespersons and c-suite executives.
Google comes in at No. 1, with several of its ads depicting and celebrating how members of the LGBT community have used Google products to effect social change.
Google Chrome's "It Gets Better" commercial pays tribute to author and activist Dan Savage, who sparked an international movement in support of LGBT youth with a single video. And YouTube's "Show your pride. Share your love" salutes LGBT YouTubers for sharing their lives through the portal by weaving together videos that include a dramatic coming out story and wedding proposal.
Johnson & Johnson ranks at No. 2 for "their heartfelt advertisements" that "feature diverse families – including LGBT parents and children -- and expand the public's understanding of what it means to be a family," according to the study.
Tylenol's 2014 "What Matters Most" campaign reimagines Normal Rockwell's iconic 1943 painting "Freedom from Want" with a blended family led by a lesbian couple.
And Clean & Clear made history this year when it selected trans teen and activist Jazz Jennings to be the new face of the brand.
Out of the top 25 companies on the list, four are from the financial sector. Wells Fargo comes in at No. 3, TD Bank No. 14, Bank of America No. 17 and JPMorgan Chase No. 21, according to Logo's list.
"Banks have needed to transform their messaging to stay relevant," said Bob Witeck, president, Witeck Communications.
Wells Fargo became the first American bank this year to feature an LGBT couple in a national TV campaign with its "Learning Sign Language" spot. The commercial follows a lesbian couple as they prepare to adopt a hearing-impaired child.
Despite backlash from groups that threatened to boycott the company, Wells Fargo refused to pull the spot.
For many of the historically more traditional brands on the list, appealing to the LGBT community is not "just a gay strategy, but a millennial strategy," Mr. Witeck said.
Rounding out the top five are Marriott at No. 4 and Gap at No. 5.
The travel sector, with seven brands in the top 25, has long been a leader in connecting with LGBT community, Mr. Witeck said, adding that LGBT households place a high value on traveling.
Outside of Google, technology companies were not well represented on the list, which Mr. Witeck said comes as a surprise.
LGBT consumers have a buying power of about $884 billion, according to Witeck, and Logo research found that 71% are more likely to support a brand after seeing an equality-themed ad. And 71% are also more likely to purchase from a company that actively donates to LGBT charities and causes.
Here's the full list, which includes several ties.
2. Johnson & Johnson
3. Wells Fargo
6. E&J Gallo Winery
7. Hilton Worldwide
13. Procter & Gamble
14. TD Bank
15. American Airlines
17. Bank of America
20. Mondelez International
20. JPMorgan Chase
20. General Mills
23. Brown Forman
24. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
25. Starwood Hotels & Resorts