Pride Month Advertising Analysis
BRANDS THAT DEVELOPED PRIME MONTH CAMPAIGNS
LGBTQ pride month, celebrated every June, has become a mainstream event. Seeing that this is a costly event, brands, partnerships, and influencers, among other allies of the movement have helped in promoting pride month.
- As a brand, Starbucks has been at the forefront in support of the Pride march and all things about LGBTQ. Starbuck's support is not just passive, but active as it has a personal campaign set aside for Pride month.
- Through advertising campaigns such as underground Rainbow Menu, Starbucks partners with various celebrities and foundations, such as Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, to support the cause.
- Starbucks has also continued to rally for a social media presence and campaign, by urging its followers to share posts that are Pride-related with captivating hashtags such as #ExtraShotOfPride, as a way to promote the Pride Campaign.
- In 2019, the telecommunications giant took a unique and personal approach during Pride month. To show support, Verizon took the initiative to highlight stories of queer love through a compilation of real-life stories and posted the video on their Instagram account.
- The video highlighted the difficulties people have continued to face with their families, after coming out as trans, gay or queer. Through the popular tag, #ConnectedByPride, Verizon created a campaign that brought awareness of interfamily issues and touched on an issue that most brands avoid.
- In this campaign, Verizon partnered with PFLAG to promote a campaign centered around reconnecting estranged families, who have struggled with inter-family relationship issues, triggered by coming out events.
- The Volvo; Drive with Pride campaign by the Swedish carmaker was done to celebrate Volvo's V60 new model launch during the 2019 pride month. Through an inclusive advertisement that was launched in London at Westfield Shopping Center, the campaign took over the car park in 2019.
- The main aim of the campaign was to get the attention of families, and promote support for LGBT+ parent families, in addition to single parents.
- The campaign also targeted grandparents and relatives raising children and raise attention to the likelihood that 65% of families in the UK, are nontraditional, and therefore, more people should be aware of this 65% kind of family set up.
- As a brand, Mac Cosmetics is endorsing and supporting Pride campaigns by using out and proud artists as influencers speak volumes about the brand's stand. In the 2019 campaign, these influencers from the LGBTQ community used Pride campaign color palettes to promote the brand, while mobilizing for the Pride Campaign.
- With short and concise tags such as #MACLovesPride, the brand was not only able to promote its brand during Pride month, but it also showed effort from the brand to support Pride month and the campaigns.
- MAC customers and fans were reeled to try the 'radiant rainbow realness,' as well as the rainbow lipstick cap, a limited edition, in support of Pride month.
- This retailer brand has been aggressive in showing its support for the LGBTQ community, and particularly Pride Campaigns every June. This has been achieved through vigorous campaigns such as the sale of a wide range of clothes and accessories boosting Pride colors.
- Even though Target has consistently and actively promoted and supported Pride month, the brand keeps getting creative in their support. In the 2019 annual event, the brand donated $100,000 to show support to GLESN.
- With tags such as #TakePride, Target has used its social media platforms to show support for the movement with new collection. The brand has also used these virtual channels and platforms to share stories of not only influencers but also their staff from across the country, which has helped in spreading the message and showing support.
As the LGBT+ community continues to grow and gain acceptance, more brands have continued to create content that is LGBTQ-related in their advertising, to promote more inclusion.
Rainbow Spirit Bottles; Absolut Vodka
- Absolut is arguably one of the oldest brands that have been supporting the LGBT+ community, as it has been doing it since 1981. Even though the people back then were less informed about the community, Absolut ran its LGBT+ campaigns and adverts in magazines that supported the community.
- Today, the brand has continued to show its consistency in its creative content, such as creating the first-ever spirits bottles with rainbow colors, in addition to other activations in support of the LGBT+.
- In 2018, Absolut Vodka showed its support by painting two buses in rainbow paint, in London. This was meant to not only raise awareness and show support for the LGBT+ community but to also raise funds in support of Stonewall.
Laverne Cox for Smirnoff
- Smirnoff has used members of the LGBTQ community such as Laverne Cox, a trans woman, as brand ambassadors for their products. This proves that they are not just passive allies of the movement, but are also aggressive and active in their support for the community.
- Traditionally, alcoholic beverages have always been marketed to heterosexual men. However, Smirnoff, as a brand seeks to change this stereotype. By using a trans woman, Smirnoff breaks the stereotypical barriers and that is a fair contribution to the LGBT+ community.
- In addition, the Smirnoff brand has pledged to donate approximately $1.5 million in support of the Human Rights Campaign, by the year 2021. This is proof that as a brand, Smirnoff embraces everyone regardless of their orientation, identity or sexual preference.
Diet Coke and Anomaly; Unlabeled
- The "Unlabeled" campaign by the beverage giant in partnership with Anomaly, seeks to accommodate and include members of the LGBT+. By erasing its logo to counter stereotypes as well as empower individuality, Coke's new advertisement proved to be all-inclusive.
- In addition, Coke uploaded videos on its social media pages and its official website, to reinforce its individuality campaign. This aims to challenge stereotypes and labels that have continued to be upheld in normative society.
- With the new advertisement and by changing its labels, Coke proved that its campaign was not just a one-off, but a committed and dedicated move to counter labels as well as support combat veterans suffering from PTSD.
MasterCard and McCann; Acceptance Street
- The "Acceptance Street" ad and campaign ran by MasterCard and McCann was considered the best and most popular Pride Month campaign. However, it was not just a Pride Month campaign, but an ongoing one.
- By teaming up with various organizations such as the Human Rights Commission in New York City and IPG shop, MasterCard was able to sanction the billboard, that was crafted and erected in Manhattan as a street sign.
- With various signs that read ''Christopher", Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Stonewall Inn is symbolic as the site is the launching grounds for the 1969 riots, where the gay rights movement was launched in New York City.
Tinder and N/A Collective; Pride Slide
- In 2019, dating site Tinder partnered with N/A Collective to put up a rainbow-colored slide, with the intention of fighting discrimination, and particularly, among the LGBTQ+ people. This slide was launched in New York, in the Manhattan Flatiron District.
- Pride Slide was not just meant to promote Pride Month in 2019, but to also raise awareness and raise money in support of the Human Rights Campaign. For every ride down the slide, Tinder donates $10 to the campaign. Approximately 1,500 people rode the rainbow slide, raising $15,000.
- Tinder, in partnership with N/A Collective also pledged to give free ad space and airtime to non-profit organizations, that have an agenda to drive a political, social and cultural equality campaign, to promote acceptance of LGBTQ+ community.
LBTQ+ BEST PRACTICE AD CAMPAIGNS
While there have been questions whether brands with LGBTQ-related advertising are exploiting or supporting the community, there are a few best practice advertising campaigns that are LBTQ-specific to enhance inclusion, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Self-Actualization and Economic Equality Campaigns
- According to an article published by Forbes, LGBTQ+ inclusive advertising promotes brands significantly and helps these brands to connect easily with the queer population and get an impressive return on investment (ROI).
- However, it should not be all about just exploiting the queer demographic to drive sales, best practices should aim to also campaign for economic equality and self-actualization, among this minority group.
- In October 2017, a report released by the LGBT Ad Format Effectiveness Study observed that LBTQ-themed advertising targeting the queer demographic made more sales compared to generic non-inclusive ads. The study weighed the effectiveness based on recommendation intent, familiarity and affinity, and engagement in brand recall.
Support to LGBT+ Pride Campaigns
- There are companies and brands that have visibly supported LGBT+ causes during and after pride month. Brands such as H&M, IKEA, Amazon, and Walmart, have been at the forefront of sincere support.
- More brands continue to join the LGBT+ Pride campaign, through ad campaigns that aim to sensitize the public about the need for inclusion. In the recent past, there seems to be a bump in the number of brands supporting LGBT+ causes and the LGBT+ community welcomes the dramatic increase in support.
- However, these brands need to do more than just passive support for the community. A study revealed that only 64% of the brands with a Pride campaign donated to LBT+ related charity causes in 2019. Further, the study indicates that 87% of the queer demographic that participated in this survey would prefer that all corporations benefiting from the LGBT+ support, donate proceeds to the respective causes.
- Consistency is one of the best practices when it comes to LGBTQ+ related campaigns. Brands such as Oreo have been at the forefront in demonstrating consistency, through actionable marketing.
- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is vocal about the need for consistency and confidence. Thus, brands should not withdraw or modify ads to appease intolerant viewers or avoid negative criticism, as such inconsistency moves only encourage conservative groups to alienate the LGBT+ consumers and community at large.
- Various brands have received backlash and negative criticism from conservative groups for showing support for the LGBT+ community but have continued to be steadfast in showing support for the community. Other than Oreo, other brands that have shown consistency for the LGBTQ+, include, Tiffany & Co., McDonald's, Mercedes-Benz, Nike, Uber, among others.