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Study: Same Sex Kiss Too Much for Americans - Canadians More Accepting

Com Central

MTV Canada's Homoerotic Kiss Spot (Click the link, not the picture)

News release:

New study by New American Dimensions finds MTV Canada commercial too edgy for United States viewers, maybe Canadians as well.

LOS ANGELES, May 30, 2007 – An MTV Canada anti-marijuana campaign featuring two men kissing would not fly in the United States, at least not yet.   A study conducted by Los Angeles based multicultural research firm New American Dimensions suggests the ad may have been edgy for Canadian viewers as well.

The commercial, which aired briefly on MTV Canada but was pulled after a short time, features three young males in a parked car, two in front and one in back, smoking a bong of marijuana.  The young man in the passenger seat, obviously very stoned, passes the bong to his friend in the back seat while remarking, “Whoa, this stuff’s really good.”  As the two men in front give each other a wasted look, they get closer and then lock into a deep, sensual kiss.  The man in the back, befuddled, asks “Aren’t you guys…brothers?”  A caption then appears saying, “If you’re high, just make sure you don’t drive.”

The study consisted of a quantitative survey of 976 respondents of both genders, gay and straight, in the United States and Canada.  Respondents were between the ages of 17 and 35. 

Highlights of the study, which is available at www.newamericandimensions.com, include:

· Two-thirds of straight Canadians felt comfortable with the kiss compared to only half of straight Americans. 

· A quarter of straight Americans felt “very uncomfortable” with the kiss compared to only 14% of their Canadian counterparts. 

· Overall, the ad generated a lukewarm reception, hovering at an overall rating of five on a one to ten scale.  Canadians gave the ad a significantly higher rating than Americans (5.2 vs. 4.8) and gays liked the ad much more than straights (6.1 vs. 4.8).   

· About half of respondents thought the ad was “appropriate” (56% in Canada and 50% in the U.S.)   

· Nine in ten gays from both countries felt comfortable watching two men kiss.

· The top two words used by Canadians, both gay and straight, to describe the commercial were “creative” and “funny.” 

· American gays chose “eye catching” and “interesting” most often. 

· The top two words chosen by American straights were “disgusting” and “offensive.”

· In general, American and Canadian gays had similar, positive views about same sex marriage and LGBT-focused marketing.  However, Canadian straights were nearly twice as likely as straight Americans to favor same sex marriage (65% vs. 37%).

· Over half of straight Canadians (56%) said they had a positive attitude toward a company that supports the gay community, compared to only 39% of straight Americans. 

· Nearly a quarter of straight Americans said they felt negatively about companies that support the LGBT community, compared to only 12% of straight Canadians.

“Showing gay people or a same sex encounter in a mainstream commercial can mean a lot to LGBT consumers, as long as it is done tastefully.” said David Morse, President and CEO of New American Dimensions, which provides customized multicultural consumer research. “However, showing too much realism can still alienate mainstream consumers, particularly Americans.  Canadians are clearly more open-minded on the subject of LGBT marketing, but even they appear to have a threshold.  The kiss in this commercial may have crossed it.”

The results of the study can be found at the company’s website at www.newamericandimensions.com, including links to video clips that capture some typical consumer reactions.

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