Inclusivity and representation are goals across the nation, from playgrounds to boardrooms. And, many brands share that responsibility and commit to highlighting diversity, including the LGBTQ community, with Pride-focused marketing campaigns. During Pride this year, many brands are stepping up, creating purpose-driven campaigns and products that illustrate their commitment to equal rights and representation, and a majority of consumers are supportive.
Advertising That Centers Around The LBGTQ Community Now Has Broad Appeal
A recent joint study, “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media” by Procter & Gamble (P&G) and GLAAD found that acceptance is growing across the country for commercials featuring people from the LGBTQ community.
P&G created a branded documentary with CNN’s Great Big Story, examining the brand’s history of LGBTQ-centered advertising, some of which dates back over a hundred years. In recent years P&G increasingly created campaigns that bolster the lives and experiences of the gay and trans communities, including a Pantene commercial featuring trans activists and models. “We’re the world’s largest advertiser. Our images affect how people see the world. Our images reflect how people see themselves. If it didn’t move the needle from a business standpoint, would we support LGBTQ visibility? Yes. Because it’s about humanity,” said P&G Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard, in the documentary.
LGBTQ-Inclusive Advertising Should Strive For Authenticity
The information that was gleaned from the LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media study led P&G and GLAAD to partner with the Association of National Advertisers' Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) to create a set of standards and practices for LGBTQ-focused marketing. In past years, particularly during Pride, corporations have been accused of “rainbow washing” their advertising and not being thoughtful in the deployment of campaigns supposedly in support of the LGBTQ community.
Marketing Dive notes, “Marketing around Pride has become a more contentious issue in recent years as well, as some in the LGBTQ community view the growing presence of brands as intrusive to an event that looks to commemorate and celebrate historical progress.” In response, this year many brands advertising during Pride are considering AIMM's new LGBTQ advertising benchmarks in order to both meet their business goals and create space for “accurate and authentic” representation of the LGBTQ community. Authenticity is very important to many consumers, particularly younger generations who want brands to mean what they say.
Brands Align With Charities And Nonprofits For Pride
This year, many brands, despite the challenges of creating advertising during coronavirus, are creating campaigns that align with charitable and nonprofit organizations.
Levi’s Launches Fashion Collection
“Levi’s is launching a charitable collection that includes tie-dye pieces, transparent jackets and graphic T-shirts that read ‘Use Your Voice!’ to celebrate Pride Month,” according to WWD. All proceeds from the collection go to OutRight Action International.
Puma Partners With Influencer Cara Delevingne
Puma has partnered with actress and influencer Cara Delevingne to create “From Puma With Love,” an affordable collection of rainbow sportswear, shoes and accessories with 20% of proceeds going to Delevingne's charity which supports LGBTQ causes.
Fashion Brands Donate To Nonprofits It Gets Better And The Trevor Project
Fabletics, Reebok, Teva and Kate Spade have all created product lines, including work-out gear, sneakers, sandals and handbags, with a portion of proceeds or cash donations going to the It Gets Better Project and The Trevor Project.
L’Oreal Hosts Virtual Pride Parade on Instagram
As part of L’Oreal’s “Proud Allies for All” NYX Professional Makeup will host the first virtual Pride march June 1 on Instagram, in partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center. People can participate by downloading and posting an image of themselves with custom “Proud Allies” Instagram filters.
Truly Hard Seltzer Deploys Hashtag Campaign
Truly Hard Seltzer, has teamed up with GLAAD for a social media and OOH campaign encouraging Truly Hard Seltzer fans to submit pics of themselves enjoying pride with the hashtag #TrulyPride. The brand will also have a billboard in Times Square and share 16 different stories throughout June as part of its content series “Truly Proud.”
Skittles And GLAAD Partner For ‘Give the Rainbow’
Skittles teamed up with GLAAD this year, as they once again launched their “Give the Rainbow” colorless Skittles. The “Give the Rainbow” campaign has deployed across social media with the hashtag #OneRainbow. "This year when many LGBTQ+ people will be unable to gather at large Pride events, it's so important that brands, notables, and other allies find authentic and creative ways to show that they stand with our community," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
Brands Continue To Evolve And Learn As They Create Inclusive Marketing Strategies
Whether it’s Pride or another initiative, brands that want to align with an important cause need to be mindful of the groups they are reaching out to. Marketing strategies that are authentic, both to the cause and the brand, will resonate more thoughtfully with consumers. Love is love, and brands are brands — creating an honest synergy between the two for effective purpose-driven marketing requires listening, learning and evolving as views evolve.
“We are building LGBTQ marketing into the fabric of how we build brands by understanding invaluable insights that not only responsibly represent the values and culture of the LGBTQ community, but also link closely to the character of our brands — never stereotyping, never misappropriating,” said Pritchard. “But we all have a lot to learn and we are truly at the beginning of our journey to master LGBTQ inclusion in our brand building efforts.”
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