Consumer Behavior

Something Seems Fishy: Mainstream Consumer Response to Drag Queen Imagery

Authors: ,


This study investigates how drag queen imagery in advertising and mainstream consumers’ tolerance towards homosexuality (i.e., drag queen) affect their attitudes towards the advertisement and brand in the context of beauty brand advertising. Based on social identity theory, this study posits that implicit (vs. explicit) drag queen-themed imagery and consumers holding high tolerance as an in-group of LGBTQ+ cultures (vs. out-group of lower tolerance individuals) would have greater impact on ad attitude and brand attitude independently and together. Evidence from a web-based experiment reveals that while different imagery types (implicit vs. explicit) in ads do not differentiate attitudes toward ad and brand, consumers’ individual tolerance of the drag queen culture positively affects such responses. Additionally, in the explicit drag queen-themed imagery condition, the ad imagery and consumer tolerance toward drag queen have an interaction effect on brand attitude and further such effect is mediated by ad attitude. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Keywords: Attitudes, Drag Queen Imagery, Tolerance, Beauty Brand, AttitudesBeauty Brand

How to Cite: Frankel, S. & Ha, S. (2019) “Something Seems Fishy: Mainstream Consumer Response to Drag Queen Imagery”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings. 76(1). doi: