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Thursday, July 9, 2009

GM pitches Chevrolet Camaro to gay men with beefcake video

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Note: The Video had been removed by the user.

For a local movie promotion a week ago aimed at gay buyers, General Motors' Chevrolet sponsored an Bumblebeeboyspg-horizontal online video on YouTube featuring the "Bumble Bee Boys in Briefs" -- a couple of buff "go-go boys" wearing only Speedo-type swimsuits with the letters CAMARO stitched across the behind. In the video, they are washing a Camaro.

It's an interesting marketing twist considering how dramatically the auto industry has backed away from blatantly using sex appeal to sell cars. In the 1950s, automakers never hesitated to plug their hot models with -- well, hot (female) models. They were aiming at male buyers and figured cheesecake would work. The trend died when women objected to being objectified, making today's gay beefcake appeal all the more interesting.

The video was produced to promote Chevrolet Gay Days at the Movies in Los Angeles, part of an ongoing outreach program to minority groups and the gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender community. The movie was a screening of the new Transformers movie, chock full of GM vehicles including Bumblebee, a Camaro. Dave Barthmuss, a General Motors spokesman, said the promotion might surprise some "because you don't see it in the mainstream." The video was deemed to "make sense for this particular audience."

GM also uses tailored marketing to reach other groups, such as African-American and Asian-American buyers. A recent Asian-oriented event featured a meet-up around a catering truck dishing out gourmet specialties.

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