“A Queer Eye For Marketing Genius” by Tyler Hanna

By the minneapolis egotist / /

Background

I’m a Christian. My younger brother is a gay man. If you pay attention to current events and trends, you know that these two demographics haven’t always gotten along (which is unfortunate). Sometimes the LGBTQ community and the Christian community have even been at odds with one another. This theme of conflict between the LGBTQ and Christian communities arises in the first episode of the 9th season of Queer Eye (if you haven’t seen the reboot, go watch it right now on Netflix and be prepared to bawl your eyes out). At the end of the episode, however, both parties are reconciled and a beautiful message of unity shines through the show’s participants and hosts.

These messages of unity, acceptance, and love, are what makes the Queer Eye reboot so alluring. In fact, the series has had to do little marketing since Netflix released the reboot! Below, I will attempt to analyze the marketing success of Queer Eye using the trusted Four P’s of marketing, identify who Netflix is marketing its show to, and ask the question, “Does Queer Eye’s marketing work?” Read on and enjoy.

The Four P’s

For those of you that don’t know, the Four P’s is a marketing concept (also commonly referred to as the “marketing mix”) that is used to calibrate the positioning of a product/service in a marketplace. The Four P’s are product, price, place, and promotion.

Changing one of these four dimensions can potentially alter the overall positioning of a product/service. Marketers use the Four P’s to analyze a specific product/service’s positioning as well as conduct competitor analyses on direct or substitutionary competitors. We will use it to analyze a simple Netflix series.

Product

The actual product of Queer Eye is much more than the show itself. Like I said earlier, Queer Eye offers us feelings of unity, love, and acceptance. Every episode has its challenges for the Fab 5 and subject but they always overcome those challenges and each episode ends on a good note. That is heart-warming! So, the show offers much more than just entertainment. It offers a quintessential reality.

Price

All it costs to watch Queer Eye is the price of a Netflix monthly subscription! Which costs $8-$14 depending on your subscription. However, you could also be spending a lot of time if you’re a binge watcher like me.

Place

Again, the only place to watch the reboot of Queer Eye is on Netflix. Not much to say here except that its wise of Netflix to create their own content. This content creation gives Netflix a distinct advantage in the online streaming industry.

Promotion

I have found the promotion strategy for Queer Eye to be very interesting. It’s interesting because I haven’t seen any promotional material affiliated with the series. However, this may be because I’m not necessarily the show’s target demographic or because most of the promotion has been native to Netflix. Probably a combination of both.

I have, however, been intrigued with the Fab 5’s Instagram accounts. This is where I believe Queer Eye has concentrated most of its promotional efforts. The series leverages the Fab 5 in the same way brands utilize influencers on Instagram. By simply living their lives (which are really cool to begin with), the Fab 5 indirectly promote their Netflix series. Antoni gives quick cooking tips. Bobby highlights his design skills. You get the point. The show’s promotional efforts are achieved through the Fab 5’s organic efforts on Instagram. The guys are the centerpiece of Queer Eye’s marketing. Would we want it any other way?

Target Market

It is obvious that the target audience for Queer Eye is the LGBTQ community. But I think there’s a secondary audience worth mentioning here. That audience is the LGBTQ supporters and empathizers. These people are either advocates of the LGBTQ community or people who are looking to understand the LGBTQ more fully. I would fall into this secondary audience. There are even tertiary audiences that this show targets (people that love makeover shows, for example). But the main audiences here are the LGBTQ community and its supporters.

Does It Work?

So, with minimal advertising, are Queer Eye’s marketing efforts worthwhile? To put it simply – Yes. They work. Queer Eye’s marketing efforts focus on pushing the Fab 5 as influencers in their respective disciplines and we cannot get enough of it. So much so, that Netflix quickly confirmed another season of the reboot. The show’s brilliant portrayal of deeper themes such as unity and acceptance also bode well for the show’s positioning as a series worth watching. Queer Eye spurs viewers on toward greater realities of love, acceptance, and unity. This truth is what makes the creators and strategists behind Queer Eye marketing geniuses.

—Tyler Hanna, CEO/Co-founder/Marketing Strategist, 8-Bit Rex

5 Responses

  1. Kevin July 13, 2018

    Wait, why is it obvious queer eye is primarily for LGBTQ people? The show was literally first called queer eye “for the straight guy.”

  2. Tyler Hanna July 13, 2018

    @Kevin -- It is obvious because the culture that is reflected in the show is that of the Fab 5's culture, which is the LGBTQ culture. Although the "heroes" that the Fab 5 makeover have their own cultures and communities, I would say that their cultures are peripheral to the Fab 5's culture.

  3. Kevin July 13, 2018

    So you think that the show runners made queer eye to be a show primarily watched by LGBTQ people, despite the fact there is 0 chance the majority of its viewer base is LGBTQ. You believe this because the hosts are gay? The show is critically acclaimed for its legacy of connecting gay (not LGBTQ until recently) entertainment with a straight cis-gendered audience. You’re wrong.

  4. Kevin July 14, 2018

    But how are five cis-gendered gay men representative of lesbian, queer, bisexual, or transgender culture? You’re describing LGBTQ people as a monolith, and suggesting that if a show has gay hosts, it’s obvious that the show must be for LGBTQ people. Maybe this dichotomy is something of your creation as a self described Christian versus the actual experience of the hosts, show runners, or the audience? I feel like the show has you as it’s primary audience, since the title of the show originally was “for the straight guy” after all. I mean, certainly the audience is not majority gay, or even LGBTQ, just do the math on that assumption...

  5. Tyler W. Hanna July 16, 2018

    @Kevin -- You reference the "legacy" of the show and make many references to the original "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" series when this article isn't about that series. Rather, it's about the current Netflix reboot. So, those arguments are rather moot. If you are really passionate about continuing this conversation, I wouldn't mind meeting for coffee. I'm pretty open and a face-to-face meeting would allow me to understand your critique better. Email me at [email protected]

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