During Pride month, brands try to get intimate with the LGBTQ+ community, many by showcasing the stories of queer employees or influencers. However, it’s the rare brand that actually gets under the covers with queer audiences. A new “bottom-friendly” campaign from Postmates is an example of how to top competitors. It stands in contrast to those that have tried—and failed—to win over the queer community with misinformed marketing (We’re looking at you, Burger King Austria).
How Postmates tops Pride marketing with its 'bottom-friendly' menu
Postmates' new campaign, “Eat With Pride,” takes a purpose-driven swing at the sex lives of gay men. It promotes the delivery service’s limited-time “bottom-friendly menu,” which centers on foods that make for easier butt cleanup prior to a roll in the hay.
Rather than just using a ballsy bit of wordplay, Postmates took direction from its community of LGBTQ+ employees to back up the campaign with action—and science.
“Eat with Pride” looks to fill the void that exists in sexual education for LGBTQ+ people who are subjected to extensive information meant for their heterosexual peers. Teaming with anal surgeon, sexual health expert and founder of Future Method/Bespoke Surgical, Dr. Evan Goldstein, as well as gay comedian Rob Anderson, the brand accompanies its in-app “bottom-friendly menu” with an educational video filled with harness-wearing eggplants and jockstrapped peaches.
“Insoluble fiber won’t help you feel cute,” instructs the spot’s narrator. “So, avoid things like whole grains, wheat bran, cauliflower, potatoes, legumes.” The video goes on to list some do’s and don’ts for those eating before getting frisky, with additional tips on how various foods might cause issues in one’s bowels.
The campaign is an example of how many popular campaigns have found success during June: addressing a problem within the community in a way that feels integrated in its language. Postmates worked directly with production company Psyop on the project. The campaign features a largely LGBTQ+ production team, including co-directors Loren Christiansen and Michael DeWeese and producer Hanna Stolarski. Postmates also recruited queer talent from within its ranks, amplifying LGBTQ+ voices without the performativity of recruiting influencers or outside faces that often rings phony to audiences.
Postmates also put action behind the work with a donation to The Okra Project, which works with the transgender community to address food insecurity, financial barriers and mental health assistance.
As is the risk marketers take when stepping into these spaces, not all efforts to engage audiences during Pride festivities land as expected. This week, a campaign from Burger King Austria caused a stir on social media as the seemingly innocent work was criticized for not seeming to have an understanding of LGBTQ+ people—or, rather, sex.
Ad Age has not yet been able to identify the agency behind the “Pride Whopper.” The campaign’s website claims the burgers, which feature either a top bun or bottom bun on each side, are meant to be a playful depiction of equal love and equal rights. But no matter the intent, many viewed the optics of the buns as a disconnected and under-researched attempt to pander to the LGBQ+ community.
It is unclear whether the “Pride Whopper” is accompanied by any form of charitable contribution. In a statement to Ad Age, a Burger King spokesperson reported that “Burger King Austria also serves as an Official Proud Partner and Sponsor of Vienna Pride 2022.”
Postmates isn’t the first to hit a homer with spicy Pride work. Last year, bidet-maker Tushy memorably penetrated the topic of gay sex with its mission to find America’s most bottom-friendly bar. Tushy told Ad Age that the idea was conceived by Tyler Mead, its head of organic growth marketing and, in the company's words, “Lead Homo.” While the campaign was light on visuals, opting for nightmarish club-goers whose heads had been replaced by bidets, it made plain its product’s connection to the hygiene of gay men’s backsides during bedroom sport.
Similarly, Chipotle took to the streets during 2015 Pride parades with a cheeky activation that included a set of buttons. One read, “I eat tacos,” and the other, “I eat burritos.” Between the two, the phrase “Which way do you sway,” presented recipients with a suggestive choice. This reporter received the merchandise in question while attending Dallas Pride that year. Whatever the intent of the phrases, they quickly became extremely popular among attendees as it was declared those who identified as tops had the luxury of consuming burritos and, thusly, bottoms were forced to sport the taco buttons. Like hankie codes of decades past, the buttons became a shorthand for identifying sexual matches in crowded venues.