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Using gay models in mainstream media: an expanded match-up hypothesis perspective

Sydney Chinchanachokchai (Department of Marketing, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA)
Nancy Hanson-Rasmussen (Department of Management and Marketing, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA)
Ronald J. Faber (Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 9 December 2022

Issue publication date: 16 January 2023




To be successful, brands should incorporate diversity in their advertising strategy. One way is to demonstrate their support for the LGBTQI community in mainstream media. This study aims to examine situational factors that affect the responses to gay presenters in mainstream media.


Two experimental studies were conducted in a 2 (luxury vs value brand) × 2 (gay vs heterosexual presenters) between-subjects design. Study 1 explores the interaction effects, whereas Study 2 introduces perceived congruence between the presenters and the product as a mediator.


The results show that using gay presenters in luxury brand ads leads to a more positive attitude toward the advertisement and higher product evaluation than using heterosexual presenters, whereas using heterosexual presenters to represent a value brand leads to a higher attitude and product evaluation than using gay presenters.

Practical implications

Nowadays, there is a greater need for inclusiveness and diversity in advertising. Brands need to pay attention to various underrepresented groups and adapt their strategy accordingly. This study shows that in appropriate situations, gay presenters can improve the image of a brand among heterosexual as well as gay consumers.


Expanding the match-up hypothesis theory, this work shows that a match can include not just an individual endorser but also the social category the endorser represents and stereotypical beliefs associated with that group.



Chinchanachokchai, S., Hanson-Rasmussen, N. and Faber, R.J. (2023), "Using gay models in mainstream media: an expanded match-up hypothesis perspective", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 102-111.



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