News & Views

Rowse / The Three Bears

by Contagious I/O
UK honey brand celebrates gay culture with online cookery show

To encourage more people to start the day with a bowl of honey-topped porridge, Rowse has launched an online cookery show, just in time for winter.

The Three Bears, developed with BMB London, stars three men who identify with the term ‘bear’, which is used by the gay community to describe heavy-set gay men with lots of facial and body hair.

Giving the old Goldilocks fairy tale a modern twist, the three bears live together in a cosy cabin in the woods. In the show’s three episodes, the bears demonstrate how to make their nutritious porridge recipes, such as red berry porridge with coconut.

More porridge recipes can be found on the brand’s website. The cookery show launched with a 60 second trailer, social activations and out-of-home ads.

Contagious Insight /

LGBT+ visibility /
The inclusive nature of the campaign will help the brand engage a younger audience. A recent survey by Ogilvy Pride found that 45% of UK consumers under the age of 34 say they’re more likely to do repeat business with a company that’s friendly to the LGBT+ community. We’ve already seen brands such as Lululemon, BrewDog and Burger King embracing the LGBT+ community in their ads.

‘The gay community is so vibrant and diverse, recently LGBT people have appeared at the forefront of several advertising campaigns,’ said Matthew Lister, who stars as one of Rowse’s three bears. ‘That said, it seems certain groups have been under represented in the media, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to feature in The Three Bears.’

By casting three self-identifying bears for the content and making the show un-scripted, Rowse is showing that it is respectful of gay culture rather than using it to push products. The brand has provided the LGBT+ community with a platform, making its celebration of gay culture truly authentic.

Modern masculinity / Advertising’s representation of women has evolved dramatically in recent years thanks to the feminist movement pushing to eradicate sexist stereotypes. We’re now seeing more brands addressing the other side of the equality coin, portraying more diverse versions of masculinity.

There has been a cluster of examples of diverse advertising within the beauty and male grooming categories, in particular. Sleek makeup’s My Face. My Rules and Axe’s Find Your Magic campaign, for instance.

Rowse’s Three Bears shows that even a honey brand can make a positive contribution to the conversation, suggesting that any company can find a way to resonate with customers by being more inclusive.