Love and Pride Go Hand in Hand: Our Nine Favorite Pride Campaigns & Our Takeaways From Each
Love is something we should all take pride in. In a world full of unknowns, it’s comforting to know each of us is loved in some form or another. With June serving as a reminder to take pride in your love, no matter what that may specify, we at JSMM wanted to take the time to showcase our nine favorite pride campaigns from this past year.
Similar to what they have done in previous years, this past June, Starbucks released limited-edition reusable cups designed with LGBTQIA+ themes and colors. Despite social distance guidelines, Starbucks was able to effectively share this pride campaign via their own social accounts and through influential partnerships, allowing them to continue their primary form of support. In 2019, Starbucks released a story revolving around the designer of their cups, allowing transparency and proving to their audience a sense of genuineness. Starbucks also regularly donates to LGBTQIA+ charities throughout the year, and in 2020, reached a high of $300,000 in donations.
Consistency is key. According to their timeline, Starbucks has been an avid supporter of LGBTQIA+ rights since 1988. Unfortunately, in recent years we have been introduced to the concept of “pinkwashing,” which is a term used to describe the action of using gay-related issues in positive ways in order to “fit the norm.” By remaining consistent in their support, it’s obvious Starbucks has been genuine in its support and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ rights.
2020 marked the Gap’s five-year anniversary of its partnership with the United Nations Foundation. This partnership began to raise awareness and funds for UN Free & Equal, a global campaign of the United Nations Human Rights Office to promote equal rights and fair treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people globally. Through this partnership, over $500,000 has been donated throughout its five-year life span.
Partnerships can introduce established audiences to new concepts, and this is proven in the example above. By partnering with UN Free & Equal, Gap has not only identified itself as an ally to this amazing movement but has also generated a substantial amount of donations to a cause people might not have previously known about.
Taking a more subtle approach to pride month, Microsoft was able to incorporate pride month into all their owned platforms. LinkedIn incorporated the pride flag colors on their logo for the month of June, Microsoft released a pride collection of apparel and XBox, its gaming brand, created “Play with Pride.” Over $250,000 of donations were given to charities and nonprofits supporting LGBTQIA+ around the world.
Diversify. Large corporations weren’t always as quick to weigh in on social issues in the past as they are now, so it’s impressive to see Microsoft incorporating LGBTQIA+ support across all their platforms. From LinkedIn, a professional networking application, to Xbox, a gaming console and service, Microsoft is effectively reaching every target audience they have with this supportive message.
Similar to that of Starbucks, Disney released a Pride Collection this past year containing clothing and accessories that symbolize support for the LGBTQIA+ movement. Along with the release of this merchandise, Disney also donated money to a collection of charities across the world including. GLSEN, Minus18 and BeLonG To Youth Services are just a few worth mentioning. With these specific organizations focusing primarily on the youth, Disney is actively promoting change in the younger generation in hopes of creating a more inclusive future.
Disney donating money to charities outside of the United States proves they are aware this is a global movement. By combining this with their released pride collection, they create a dichotomy of not only showing support in the United States but introduce this concept of it being a global issue to those who might’ve been unaware.
Proctor and Gamble 💙
P&G’s support has always remained consistent throughout their time as an organization, however this past year they had two noteworthy “events” take place on top of their numerous donations. The first being a newly founded partnership with iHeartMedia, where they sponsored an hour-long virtual event called “Can’t Cancel Pride”, a celebration to raise both visibility and funds for the LGBTQIA+ community. They took their support a step even further and released the first-ever LGBT+ Inclusion in Advertising and Media study in collaboration with LGBTQIA+ charity, Glaad.
Like Microsoft, but on a significantly larger scale, P&G used multiple resources to promote and assist the LGBTQIA+ community. By incorporating a mix of donations, partnerships and technical analysis, P&G not only created a genuine campaign but used its resources to supply statistical proof on how non-LGBTQ Americans responded to LGBTQ representation in television, films and ads.
Shifting away from traditional campaigns, Skittles put its focus on a social media campaign. According to Commetric, Skittles managed to engage over 200,000 people with their “Give the Rainbow” campaign — which did away with their rainbow color scheme and pledged a one-dollar donation to Glaad, a non-for-profit that defends the portrayal of LGBTQIA+ in media, for every bag of grey skittles they sold. This shift in the color palette was to stress the importance of only one rainbow this month: The Rainbow Flag.
Sometimes simplicity has the most impact. Skittles’ tagline, “Taste the Rainbow,” has been a part of their organization since its founding, and their willingness to do away with that to stress the importance of this movement speaks volumes for their support. The partnership with Glaad only stresses their support further. Creating an impactful, genuine campaign that people can easily share across their social accounts further pushes the concept of inclusivity and overall support.
Coming in behind Skittles in social shares, Nike is primarily known for its large donations to support allied nonprofits. On top of their over $500,000 donations to over 20 supporting organizations, Nike also continued their “BeTrue” collection. Beginning in 2012, this annual collection of footwear styles adorned with emblems of the LGBTQ+ community has been a consistent part of Nike’s campaigns throughout the years.
Large organizations should make large donations, and that is exactly what happened with Nike. In only 30 days, Nike was able to donate a sum of over $500,000 to multiple LGBTQIA+ nonprofits. The continuation of the “BeTrue ” collection also reiterated the concept of showing support within athletics to be easily applicable.
Having the second most engagement, according to Commetric, Netflix put on a digital event for reflection and celebration of LGBTQIA+ artists. In addition to supporting a number of LGBTQIA+ organizations — including OutRight, The Trans Justice Funding Project and The Marsha P. Johnson Institute — Netflix, with its Pride initiative, will continue to avoid advertising and invest $15 billion a year for original content — a number far outmatched by similar platforms.
Due to the recent pandemic, it was crucial for Netflix, the at-home streaming service, to include a genuine, effective LGBTQIA+ campaign. By creating its own digital event specifically for this month and by continually investing in original, inclusive content, Netflix outperformed expectations and promoted further support despite the COVID-19 restrictions.
Performing the best, based on mentions according to Commetric, Apple continued its release of pride-themed watch bands and faces it started back in 2017. Being one of the only global companies with an openly gay CEO, Apple’s campaign remained fairly consistent but incorporated the LGBTQIA+ designs within the existing Nike Sport Band. Continued partnerships with organizations including GLSEN, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, Gender Spectrum, The National Center for Transgender Equality and ILGA World boosted involvement within the campaign creating more viewers, and with that, more support from all audiences. This new design also further pushes Nike’s idea of achieving more acceptance and support within the world of athletics.
Applying consistency, partnerships and genuineness, Apple’s campaign placed it as one of the best this year. Their subtle changes, but not-so-subtle support, places it as one of our favorite organizations that support this movement and community. Continuing old partnerships along with creating new ones further the reach of this important message, and in return, creates a continuing network of support.
Share, Support and Smile
Let these examples serve as the light at the end of the tunnel. The proof that we are becoming better. Similar to that of the organizations above, use this June as a time to expand your view and support, but don’t let it diminish as the month changes. Real change comes with continued support from organizations like the ones we mentioned here, but also from everyday people like you reading this. Be the change you want to see in the world. Now go, celebrate what this month of love and pride means to you, but don’t forget what it truly means to support love, no matter the shape or size. 😊