Gay focus group: Buy it with Beckham


H&M’s commercial with an underwear-clad David Beckham scored big with an LGBT focus group watching the Super Bowl.

That would be the same commercial that prompted Roland Martin to tweet, “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him.” That remark led to a protest, which resulted in Martin’s suspension as a CNN commentator.

Consumer research firm Iceology, working with SiriousXM’s OutQ and it’s The Focus Group’s Tim Bennett and John Nash conducted what is believed to be the first LGBT consumer survey for the championship game. The results were released on Feb. 10:

• When asked what the focus group participants were most looking forward to about the Super Bowl, the game itself ranked behind the Madonna halftime show, at-home parties and festivities and the commercials.

• Watching the commercials is considered part of the Super Bowl experience. Most respondents indicated that they do not normally watch commercials in their everyday life, but 61 percent reported that they saw nearly every ad and 94 percent said they saw more than half the ads aired during the game.

• The David Beckham H&M commercial was a huge hit. A full 88 percent of respondents knew what Beckham was selling and for whom, as compared to 66 percent of the Vampire/Audi ad and 35 percent of the Donald Trump/Century 21 ad. The Beckham/H&M ad was the most memorable.

• Releasing the commercials early proved unpopular. Two-thirds of respondents felt that the early release “diminished the experience since the surprise factor was taken away.”

Bennett observed, “Most people were looking for an element of surprise during the Super Bowl and missed it with the commercials, as so many were viewable before the game. So aside from who would win the game, the biggest remaining surprise of the evening was what Madonna was going to do.”

Nash said, “Even though this year’s half-time show with Madonna was the most looked-forward-to element of the evening, the entire experience of Super Bowl is still very important to LGBT people. And because they exhibit higher than average recall numbers for the commercials, the LGBT audience will remain a highly prized and savvy demographic for smart marketers.”

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