The battle for the favors of the LGBT travelers also takes place in the sky, perhaps at ’10 miles high’. It started in the US, where it still happens a lot, but soon Europe and other parts of the world followed. This resulted in funny, wrong, colorful and effective campaigns. There are special websites, loyalty programs, benefits and, above all, cheerful attention.
OutBuro is striving to provide LGBTQ startups and entrepreneurs with tools, insights, information, and education with ideas to market their business in all forms from traditional marketing, social media, B2B and B2C sales strategies, advertising, and growth hacks.
Car brands have been targeting the LGBT consumer (especially the L and G) very early on – as buying a car involves quite a bit of money. Some brands focus on gay men, others typically on lesbians – but in recent years it’s mostly been ‘loading the brand’ with diversity, via lifestyle campaigns.
It is not only about convincing the LGBT to buy that car, but also to remain loyal to the brand (repeat purchases), and above all to recommend it to ‘relatives’ in the LGBT community (NPS, member get member). See also my articles A pink Cadillac?, Subaru – the ladies love it and Toyota, ally since 1992. Saturn was there early, and 20 years ago Mercedes also contributed. Their compatriot BMW started Marketing the Rainbow a little later, but has since shown a few nice campaigns. ‘Ride with Pride’, ‘Driven by Diversity’: the slogans write themselves.
BMW is a German multinational company (est. 1916), which produces luxury automobiles and motorcycles in Germany, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the UK, and the US. They also own Mini and Rolls-Royce. The company has significant motorsport history, especially in Formula 1, sports cars and the Isle of Man TT: it’s all very masculine.
BMW’s corporate home page includes a section on Diversity, where they say: “For us, diversity means living a culture that is based on appreciation and respect, so that people of all origins can contribute and develop with their personality and identity. BMW Group PRIDE stands for exactly that. The network acts as the mouthpiece of the LGBT+ community where diversity, equality, trust, respect and inclusion come first. Together, we ensure a positive, tolerant and open work environment in which everyone is welcome regardless of their sexual identity.”
The beginning: a paradox
It started in 2006 with a paradox: BMW of North America came under fire from Gaywheels.com – for advertising in gay and lesbian magazines. They called BMW hypocritical by targeting “the deep pockets” of gays and lesbians in publications like OUT and The Advocate, but didn’t offer domestic-partner benefits to employees. Their sister brands Mini and Rolls-Royce were already steps ahead. This changed in 2008, when BMW followed the colleagues, after which Gaywheels endorsed them as gay-friendly.
A year before, a local dealer in Texas, Classic BMW, had started to look at the gay drivers. One ad stated “Being Out Has Never Been So In”. Another aimed at lesbians with the slogan “Freedom to Go Where You Want and Be Who You Are”. A third ad was more neutral and stated: “It’s about respect”.
In 2007, they ran a teasing campaign which included billboards: the visual showed a convertible with the text “Hard Top. Firm Bottom. It’s so L.A.”, playing with words commonly known in the gay world. Another read: “When the top’s away, the car will play”. They were the work of David Morris Parson, who was rewarded with the Commercial Closet Award, for respecting diversity. However, the use of stereotypes was not appreciated by everyone. A market survey in Texas revealed that the target group found the ad, in particular the tagline, both offensive and insulting (sic.), because they used negative stereotypes, in this case the promiscuous gay.
BMW of North America was a top sponsor of the 2012 Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair of the National LGBT Bar Association.
In California, Berkeley Motor Works listed itself in the GayPinkSpots directory as gay-friendly BMW auto repair shop.
In Palm Springs, the BMW Performance Driving School considered itself to be a Palm Springs Area Destination, possibly of the gay kind, by being included on the visitgaypalmsprings.com website.
In 2015, the BMW 2 Series received the Pink Brand of the Year Award in Belgium. They commented: “The LGBT community really likes our BMW 2 Series. This week, we received the Pink Brand of the Year Award and we are proud of it. Because sheer driving pleasure is for everyone.”
A report conducted in China in 2016 showed that “if you were to stereotype members of the LGBT community in China, you’d come to find that China’s gay men have deemed BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi to be their top three auto brands. Meanwhile, lesbians picked Land Rover, Lamborghini, and Mini Cooper.”
In New York, BMW and Bleu Magazine organized an “ultimate brunch”, celebrating the vibrant culture of the LGBT community, similar to a Chicago event.
And now… “Thought Leadership”
In 2017, Hildegard Wortmann, Senior VP BMW, said: “To stay relevant to digital natives, who are more interested in smartphones than cars, automakers must be prepared to take more risks when positioning their brands and not shy away from edgy subject matter“. Since advertising no longer has the same reach, marketing executives need to be more willing to stretch the limits and be prepared to go directly to the customers and take a stance on key social issues such as gay and lesbian rights. She referred to it as providing “thought leadership.” Her team placed a specially designed BMW i8 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, making a connection with “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”. Taking the risk brought rewards as the social media impact was immediate with people posting pictures of themselves in front of the BMW i8. “We’re using their community in order to boost our message,” Wortmann said.
BMW i served as an official partner of the Coachella Valley Music & Art Festival more than once. The festival is not specifically gay or gay-friendly though.
The story behind the British vanity licence plate “YES I GAY” is a bit vague and might be a hoax, as it appeared on two different silver BMW’s. The plate was not issued by BMW though, and just happened to be attached to one. Or two?
In the 2018 campaign “Unexplainable”, a 30-second beautiful lifestyle video features a series of kisses at the end: one kiss is shared between two men. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Prides around the world
Over the years, they were present at – or supported – pride festivals around the world.
During the 2019 WorldPride in New York, there was an extensive program. BMW launched the #GoWithPride campaign: the programming included the creation of a custom wrapped BMW 8 Series, together with Jonathan Adler, who shared his journey to the WorldPride NYC Parade in the BMW 8 Series Convertible on BMWUSA’s Instagram page.
Also, there was a partnership with CNN, the “QUEER CITY: A CNN Experience”, a multimedia museum experience, which explored the real stories of people behind landmark moment in New York City’s queer history. At the location, BMW set up a photo booth, where visitors could take a picture expressing what Pride meant to them. These then became part of an exhibit wall thus including attendees into the festivities.
A fleet of #GoWithPride wrapped BMW 8 Series Convertibles carried the WorldPride Parade’s grand marshals. BMW partnered with GLAAD, outside of their NYC headquarters leading up to the weekend’s events. The company made a donation to GLAAD and provided food, beverages and giveaways, while a fleet of BMW X7 Sports Activity Vehicles delivered t-shirts to over 200 GLAAD volunteers.
2020 Driven By Pride
In 2020, while corona prevented Pride festivals to be celebrated “as usual”, BMW of North America launched a new campaign in celebration of Pride Month, entitled “Driven By Pride.” It featured various activations, including BMW’s support of The Trevor Project’s “Pride Everywhere” campaign, and communications across BMW’s digital channels.
NYC Pride hosted a special broadcast event featuring five custom-wrapped BMW 8 Series Convertibles. The vehicles featured blended rainbow colors that represent the entire Pride flag and LGBT+ community, as well as a special “PRIDE” BMW roundel design on the hood of each vehicle, replacing the BMW letters with PRIDE.
Along with the car show, the event included live musical performances from Janelle Monae, Billy Porter, Deborah Cox and Luisa Sonza. In addition, the broadcast features grand marshals from the LGBT+ community, including Dan Levy of Schitt’s Creek.
“While many of this year’s live Pride activities were cancelled out of necessity, BMW continues to stand with the LGBT+ community in this celebration of Pride and unity,” said Uwe Dreher, vice president of marketing, BMW of North America. “As the world continues to demonstrate for racial equality and justice amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more urgent time to celebrate togetherness and unity.”
Through their employee platform, attention was given to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
2021 Driven By Pride
For the third year the Driven By Pride campaign was run. It featured designer LaQuan Smith rejoining forces with BMW to design original Pride vehicle wraps for the BMW 4 Series Coupe, following Smith’s role in BMW’s New York Fashion Week partnership.
The wrap was to be featured on five BMW 4 Series vehicles in the annual New York City Pride parade, which in the end only took place virtually.
For the same event, performer, activist and world-renowned drag queen, Shangela, joined BMW for digital content as part of the Pride campaign. She also joined GLAAD’s head of talent, Anthony Ramos, for an Instagram Live interview, sponsored by BMW.
Gay Games Munich
On Facebook the BMW Group PRIDE, together with “The Proud Wiesn”, one of the big LGBT+ Oktoberfest events – sponsored by BMW – rooted for their hometown Munich to be the host for the Gay Games 2026. Messages of support were also posted on Instagram. The honor went to Valencia.
A little later than other car brands, BMW joined the rainbow train. This was selective and always befitting their luxurious character. Often cars were decorated in Pride colors, activities around Pride were sponsored or even organized. Outside of these events, the brand doesn’t do much, although the casual kiss in a TV commercial does earn points. There were also collaborations with various charities. They therefore score a 7.5/10.
How often can you tell that your product is good? In order to get attention, some brands have resorted to the Realm of Bizarre. Here’s my top 5 of “Memorable LGBT Videos”.
Sales has changed a lot in the last decades. In the next article you would receive 7 tips how to face the changes and raise customers’ trust.
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When your entire team is on board with putting their best into action every day, then it becomes cultural and innate.
A translator is someone who converts the written word from one language to another. The most important requirement is that they be fluent in English and at least one other language. A translator is a specialist in more than one field, from basic ones like greetings to scientific, more complicated like nuclear engineering. To be a translator from one language to another, a person has to learn all the time. There are always new things that a translator can learn. Translators have help in CAT tools and machine translating software. Although artificial intelligence translation tools have made significant advances in the past few years, they are not without error and some of those errors could be costly making your business or project look unprofessional and miss opportunities.
Machine Only Translation Blunders
For example, taking one language and doing a strictly literal translation can sometimes create near comical results is using only AI tools and/or a translator not proficient in the common everyday use of the language with all the nuances. Take for instance messages you receive on LinkedIn or in your email. You have likely received a message recently here in 2020 with an introduction of “My Dearest….” or even “My Darling”. No American or any native English speaker anywhere today starts off a business communication like that – Full Stop Period. That is unless you are trying to sound like a 1940’s romance novel. Today it frankly sound creepy and is 99.99% sure to be SPAM. It wreaks of SPAM signals that will get your site, profile and email blocked.
If your business depends on foreign markets you should, NO, you MUST use a professional human translator who is fluent in your target audience’s language. Else, you are losing opportunities by not being viewed as credible.
What kinds of projects might you use a translator for?
- Website text
- Blog text
- Video/movie subtitles
- Print material text
- SEO localization
- Whitepaper text
- Articles and Press Release text
- Speech/Industry Talks translation
- Client/customer templates messages such as prospecting and support
- Any form of communication
What tools do professional translators use?
Most professional translators use some type of translation memory software, often called TM. The term Computer Assisted Translation is also used.
These programs compare each sentence in the text with previously translated sentences and phrases, to generate a possible translation. Then the human translator modifies this translation as needed.
There are many advantages to this. Mainly, the translator does not have to retranslate stock phrases or common terminology over and over again. They also have features to check for accuracy in numbers, or that a translator has translated certain terms consistently throughout the entire document. Many Programs today also let the translator send a phrase or sentence to be translated by an outside source, for example, a TM server run by an agency, or a machine translation service such as Google Translate.
There are several companies that offer the software and they all do more or less the same thing. They each have strengths and weaknesses. Some are more expensive and have more features. Some software is better suited for people working on very large projects that cannot be accomplished by one translator in the given time. The one I use is most suited for an individual freelance translator.
All of them should be used only by a translator. In fact, I believe it is much better for a translator to work without such a program, at least in the beginning, and then use the program only once they have learned the basics of translation.
Translators in some fields, such as marketing, sales catalogs, etc. don’t like to use TM. They say that it inhibits their creativity, and the result will sound too much like a translation.
Another type of translation that is growing is the post-editing of machine translation. In this method, a machine translation program is used to generate a first draft. Then a human translator revises it. The machine translations are getting better, but for now, most individual translators do not like to do this work. It’s usually not as interesting and some translators find that machine produced translations have strange and annoying errors in them. Also, the client in those cases often does not pay the translator as much. But the software is getting better, and most of us will be doing something along those lines in the future.
Quote by: Steven Marzuola
What are the different types of language translators?
Three main types of translation are human translation, machine translation, and post-edited machine translation. So you can call a person or a computer translator. And if it’s the former, you can distinguish translators based on what type of translation they specialize in.
So some distinguish between literary (prose, poetry, plays) and informative (scientific, technical, newspapers, documents etc) translation, on the one hand, and between written and oral translation (or interpretation), on the other hand. So there are interpreters and translators, and translators could be grouped into literary translators, science translators, technical translators and so on (the grouping is based on what kinds of works a translator translates).
And also there are two different types of interpreting: consecutive interpreting (the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has finished speaking) and simultaneous interpretation (the interpreter translates the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks).
Also, you can distinguish between intralingual translation (translation within the same language, which can involve rewording or paraphrase), interlingual translation (translation from one language to another), and intersemiotic translation (translation of the verbal sign by a non-verbal sign, for example, music or image). So you can say there are intralingual translators, interlingual translators, and intersemiotic translators.
Quote by: Darla Rogers
Brucecy Marketing Group is a high-spirited and creative event management and planning firm based in northern New Jersey specializing in promoting brands at existing consumer events such as a legacy of innovation at engaging pride event attendees. Founded by Tom Legan, an out LGBT entrepreneur, with a remarkable history in television marketing leadership and a keen focus on end to end project execution. Under Legan’s leadership, Brucecy has been instrumental in bringing non-profit Pride organizations top-notch sponsors year after year. Legan understands how to make a brand stand out at Pride and how important the financial support of sponsors is in enabling Pride to happen. Not only does that support affect the Pride non-profit’s ability to put on a great event, but it also has a direct and indirect impact on the local community. We’ll discuss a little background and how Legan got involved in supporting the Pride ecosystem. We’ll also chat about some of the challenges that the COVID-19 virus forced upon the Pride festivals and opportunities it also created.
OutBüro-Q – How long has your marketing agency been involved with Pride festivals?
I started doing pride festivals through my first national marketing agency called Legan Promotions Inc. in 2003. Prior to that, I worked for Showtime Networks for six years and headed up National Promotions and Events where I had the amazing opportunity to promote all Showtime Original Series including the premiere of the groundbreaking hit series Queer As Folk in 2000. I started the LGBTQ outreach area at the network and sponsored over 100 pride events during my time there. Along with Queer As Folk, later I also promoted The L Word at pride festivals. When I left Showtime in 2003 to form Legan Promotions, Showtime became my first client! Other clients included ABC (Dancing With The Stars), TLC, Lifetime, IFC, Ovation, Macy’s, and Wolfgang Puck.
In 2011, I closed Legan Promotions as an incredible opportunity came my way from AMC Networks to be the Director of Activation, Promotions, and Licensing for their original series, many of which were favorites of mine. From 2011 to 2014, I got to promote major hit series like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, to general audiences – a very exciting period!
By 2014, several past TV network clients from Legan Promotions had been reaching out to see if I could help them promote at gay pride festivals again, so it was at that time I made the tough decision to leave AMC and form Brucecy Marketing Group, my current agency which is basically “Legan Promotions 2.0”. The name of the agency comes from the first names of my mom and dad – Bruce and Cecy – who always valued diversity and supported me in every way. Since then, our agency has worked with global brands like SKYY Vodka and 2(X)IST underwear and networks such as Freeform, Game Show Network, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
OutBüro-Q – What has been the traditional role of your agency with Pride festivals?
Our agency connects brands, TV networks, and movie studios directly to the LGBTQ community through a presence at Pride festivals, parades, gay film festivals, and related events to promote brand awareness, new series premieres for networks, and new movie releases for studios. We handle everything from start to finish for our clients making it all turnkey for them. This includes recommending the best Prides based on what they are promoting (the premiere of a new series or the launch of a new brand product, for example) followed by planning each activation and negotiating directly with each pride organization on the sponsorship details.
Then we manage the activation onsite for each client with our trained brand ambassadors and provide a complete summary recap after each event to the client. Through our long-standing relationships with the Pride organizations, our clients typically get exclusive added value benefits they can’t get by going direct, so many return to our agency year after year. Plus we’ve received many compliments from clients on how our agency has some of the best-personalized customer service they’ve encountered, better than with agencies ten times our size, so we’re proud of that!
HGTV was a client of ours for four consecutive years and we managed over 80 Prides for them. One of the main things they loved about our agency was how turnkey everything was for them and how easy it was to reach us anytime.
OutBüro-Q – How has that changed this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
This year is unprecedented in terms of how we celebrate pride and how our agency does business. As there are no plans for physical pride events until at least September, Pride organizations, especially those who normally host prides March through June, have had to get very creative to still find ways to celebrate pride. Pride festivals are a big source of revenue for many pride organizations, most of which are non-profit entities, so it was critical Prides find a way to still celebrate but also raise critical funds for their local LGBTQ communities.
In addition to Global Virtual Pride on June 27 which I’ll talk more about, several larger Prides like NYC Pride, San Francisco Pride, Denver Pride, Washington DC Capital Pride, and several others will be having their own virtual Pride festivals where everyone can still celebrate pride from the comfort of their home and brands can still sponsor these virtual events and support the community.
OutBüro-Q – What new challenges has the concept of a Virtual Global Pride brought and how have you and the team addressed and potentially capitalized upon those?
Virtual Prides, in general, have been a tough sell for our clients who are used to traditional event marketing at large Pride festivals where attendees can experience the brand activation firsthand and interact directly with brands. We’ve been bringing our clients up to speed on how virtual Prides will work and how they still can connect to the LGBTQ community in a personal and quality way.
As much as we’d love to promote movies like JUDY starring Renee Zellweger as we did at Prides last year for our client Roadside Attractions studios, where Judy Garland drag queens posed with pride attendees as they walked along a VIP red carpet area, that’s just not feasible in these times. But we can still get creative with how to connect to the community while still being far apart.
OutBüro-Q – What new opportunities, maybe unexpected, has this created?
The number of people virtual Prides has the potential to attract is far greater than physical attendance at regular pride events as anyone can watch the pride celebration online. This is exciting for our clients as they consider sponsorships. Also, with all 50 states reopening in at least some way as of this week, brands can sponsor virtual Prides to support the community but also use the opportunity to promote they are back in business. This is especially applicable to the hard-hit travel and tourism industry like cruise lines, hotels, airlines, restaurants, movie theaters, theme parks, and similar companies. It seems to make a lot of sense in the next few weeks for these types of brands to tell millions of loyal consumers eager to get out of their homes that they are back (and at a very low cost to do so too!)
OutBüro-Q – Has past Pride corporate and community sponsors embraced this necessary new approach? Is sponsorship steady, increased, lower?
We’re still speaking with all clients and potential clients about virtual Pride sponsorships and participation. Normally by March every year (usually earlier), we would have locked in clients for regular physical pride campaigns for the entire year especially those occurring in June as many of those Prides sell out of space and sponsorship options early. This year, everything has shifted later as Prides had to scramble to come up with another option to celebrate (virtual Prides) when the crisis hit the US in March. So we are all working fast and furiously to introduce clients to this new concept but timing is very tight. Therefore we do expect fewer clients to sponsor virtual Prides, at least those Prides occurring in June.
OutBüro-Q – Naturally, attending a Pride Festival in person has its emersion experience and loads of people watching. How will the Virtual Pride engage attendees to participate and feel a part of it
We have a lot of fun and creative ideas we’ve been discussing with clients and with the various virtual Prides. There are many ways to engage consumers from their homes as they watch Pride celebrations online so they still feel a part of this community experience. The biggest obstacle we have to deal with is time since all virtual Prides really just came together in the past few weeks. Putting together a sponsorship or campaign for clients in a matter of weeks versus months is challenging.
OutBüro-Q – Are there new technologies and/or new media partnerships being leveraged? If so, what and how will they create the vision of Global Virtual Pride?
Global Virtual Pride’s goal is to allow as many people as possible to watch the 24-hour stream all around the world, so there will be several platforms on which people will be able to view the festivities. Some countries block access to platforms we use here in the US everyday like YouTube and Facebook, so we’re working on ways to be sure everyone who wants access to Global Pride can get access.
OutBüro-Q – Will attendees need to download apps to participate – if so, what are they? Let’s get ready.
Yes, these are some of the ideas and concepts we have been discussing such as:
- Participation through an app or through social media
- Getting a physical object of some sort in people’s hands before they watch the stream on June 27
- Asking them to submit photos or videos of what pride means to them and incorporating those into the broadcast and so many more ideas.
It will just be a matter of seeing what can be done in the short amount of time before the broadcast as we’re just five weeks away now.
OutBüro-Q – Since the date is set, can people already register to join the virtual party, and if so where and how?
Details will be forthcoming! It’s a new and exciting time for all of us, so stay tuned!
As soon as additional details are available to OutBüro we’ll update it here and likely also post a fresh new announcement article.
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