Gay is the new boring

November 23, 2011


You may remember one of my posts from this summer which dealt with “Bauer sucht Frau” (Farmer wants a Wife) and the announcement that this fall for the first time a farmer is actually not looking for a wife but for a husband. Due to the nature of the (freak) show I expressed my concern that that two guys would end up as some kind of attraction in a weird cabinet of curiosity. But boy, was I wrong!

For almost six weeks now, every Tuesday morning follows the same ritual after arriving in the office: I have finally peeled myself out of the way too tight winter coat when I look at the faces of my colleagues filled with anticipation. This anticipation is all about the TV program of last night: Bauer sucht Frau.

So every Tuesday I tell my colleagues what I think of the latest episode and how the two performed. Each and every time I have to say: They are kind of cute together but every single straight couple on the show is sooo much more exciting and funny. Gay has turned out to be the new boring…at least as far as this show is concerned. But actually this boring has the most positive connotation possible!

Whereas the other farmers turned out to either suffer from a “slight” sociopathic syndrome driving the potentials wives closer to insanity from episode to episode or suffer from rather odd looks making you ask why plastic surgery is all about silicon and not complete facial re-dos, our two gays have decent manners and are blessed with good looks. They are smart and funny and Philip the stablehand has a better relationship with his parents than any mom could wish for.

I would not necessarily suggest the show to be awarded with an LGBT integration award. But so far I really do have the impression that the show raises awareness for the normality of gay (love) life and that it can be found everywhere in every social context.

The key question everybody working in PR faces everyday is: How do I reach my target audience best. Many LGBT awareness campaigns in past years have clearly suffered from deficits in really reaching those people who need some kind of extra lessons when it comes to acceptance of LGBT individuals. Often they got stuck in media which are normally consumed by people who tend to be already rather LGBT-friendly. However, the TV station which broadcasts “Bauer sucht Frau”, is watched by pretty much everybody in Germany and is actually particularly strong in parts of the society with a below average educational level, a group with is less often exposed to LGBT content.

So to stay in PR terms: the Advertising Value Equivalency for positive LGBT coverage in “Bauer sucht Frau” is astronomical.

What do you think? Is a format like “Bauer sucht Frau” the right channel to spread our message or would you say that the format is not the right way to create a wider acceptance for LGBT individuals? After all, you could still argue that it may be true that among the blind the one-eyed man is king but that he still suffers from a deficit.