In 2019, a US-based study about consumer perception of Pride-related campaigns turned in some not-surprising results. Fifty percent of respondents said that companies launching Pride-themed products were doing so as a marketing tactic. On the other hand, 21% thought it was a true reflection of the brand’s values.
Here lies one of the tricky aspects of marketing. Consumers today are more cynical than ever, and they are weary of advertising. Especially during important events like Pride Month, brands must be even more careful about sending the right message and hitting the right tone. And the best way to do that is, of course, to be authentic. That’s what customers want from brands.
Luckily, there are lots of companies out there who take Pride values to heart, contribute to Pride charities and causes, and generally try to make the world a more diverse and inclusive place for all. This comes across in their Pride Month marketing too.
Let’s take a look at some of the best Pride Month marketing campaigns that we loved this year, for the way they get real and speak to the hearts of their customers.
Lego – Everyone is awesome
Remember that super-catchy tune from the 2014 LEGO movie, “Everything is Awesome”? Now the iconic toy brand has turned it into their Pride and diversity campaign, with a small tweak:
Everyone is awesome!
As part of the Pride campaign this year, LEGO launched a dedicated landing page, featuring a range of awesome related content, including interviews with employees and fans from the Pride community, and free downloads of virtual meeting backgrounds with LEGO and Pride themes. The new ‘Everyone is awesome’ rainbow-colored LEGO set also features on the Pride landing page, with a personal message from the VP of Design. All in all, it’s a colorful, clever, and sincere celebration of Pride that seamlessly connects LEGO blocks to a powerful message and mission.
H&M – Beyond the rainbow
H&M has gone interactive this year with a tech-driven campaign that tells the stories behind the rainbow flag. The company developed a dedicated app, where individuals can upload their personal Pride stories, and users can access them by scanning any rainbow flag. H&M describes it as a campaign that encourages members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share their thoughts and feelings about growing up, coming out, finding love, and the right to be themselves. This campaign does a terrific job of leveraging digital tech to make Pride part of daily life throughout the celebratory month. How? By integrating the rainbow flag, seen on streets everywhere in June, as an essential part of the experience.
Havaianas – Here’s to freer days
The fashion brand has gone happy and optimistic for its Brazil Pride campaign, with an upbeat video depicting the diversity and richness of life in the LGBTQIA+ community, worldwide – all set to a cover rendition of “I Can See Clearly Now.” But for Havaianas, the celebration of Pride is not just one month a year. The company released its Global Pride product line already in March, and dedicates 7% of sales of the collection to All Out, a global NGO fighting discrimintaion against LGBT+ individuals and communities.
Sainsbury’s – Freedom is…
For many brands, Pride marketing is all about the telling of personal stories, putting a face to the struggle and the celebration. Sainsbury’s is a great example, having released a video compilation of interviews with employees from diverse orientations. It’s a smart approach, because not only does it celebrate Pride, it demonstrates that the company walks the talk, supporting LGBTQIA+ individuals in both a professional and personal sense. Seeing the people in the video talk about their experiences, and proudly wearing the Sainsbury’s uniform, is a definite brand strategy winner.
Vindicia – Be an ally
When it comes to Pride Month marketing for B2B, brands are also looking for ways to express their support and show their dedication to diversity and inclusion. One of the ways B2B companies typically do this is by temporarily changing their logo to the rainbow flag colors. But Vindicia, a subscription tech company, did more than that. They established a mission statement and theme for this year’s Pride, “Be an ally”, and then devoted a blog post to tell the world what that means and how they implement it. For B2B brands, making a clear statement about what Pride means to them is not just good strategy; it’s about being authentic and true to your brand character too.
Microsoft – Together we can
For Microsoft, this year’s Pride message goes beyond diversity to cover other important, pressing issues of our time, like climate change and racial justice. For Pride Month, the brand released a video featuring interviews with change-makers in different areas, highlighting how many of these can be overcome when we work together. The video almost has a post-Pride vibe, in the sense that it takes the victories of the Pride movement in recent years and explores how we can use that energy to fix other problems in our world. Inspiring!
Quint Media – How the rainbow flag came to represent Pride
Educational content is a key to effective branding and strategy. For Pride Month, Indian media company Quint Media released a 4-minute educational video exploring how the rainbow flag became the symbol of Pride and the LGBTQAI+ community. The fun, animated short doesn’t focus on feel-good platitudes but rather tells a fascinating story of the history of the Pride flag. Viewers are sure to come away with a sense of having learned something valuable and relevant, and that’s what great content marketing is all about.
Growing diversity, growing markets
Did you know that the LGBTQ community accounts for about 4.5% of the US population, but 8% of the country’s disposable income? Supporting and valuing these consumers during Pride Month is not just good business strategy, it’s also good branding. For Pride Month and indeed throughout the whole year, take inspiration from the best Pride marketing campaigns and the ways that brands use emotion, technology, and content to celebrate diversity and positively impact the societal mood.