Brand Marketing Awesomeness for #PrideMonth

The month of June offers brands a positive and vibrant way to connect with audiences for Gay Pride festivities. And we have more than a few highlights to share, along with a look at the customer understanding excellence these efforts demonstrate.

Where It Started

It’s the 50th anniversary of the event that started it all – the Stonewall Riots, “otherwise known as the Stonewall Uprising, which saw members of the LGBTQ community fight back against harassment from the police in Greenwich Village in June 1969.”

Protestors organized around the country in the years that followed in parades promoting gay rights. And in 2000, President Bill Clinton recognized June as Gay Pride Month and the rest is history – literally, as monuments are set to be erected to two of the movement’s founders:

It’s long overdue. But to #brightside it, this year, like each year preceding it, is shaping up to be the best year yet from a brand awareness perspective. 

The Best Year Yet

Sentiment around Pride Month has been growing year over year and is overwhelmingly positive, coming in at a solid 90% Net Sentiment (on a scale from -100 t0 100):

Online participants are “proud,” “happy” to join in supporting friends and family this month, sharing stories, encouragement and love. Even kids’ channel Nickelodeon is tweeting support for the cause. A bold move considering the response it’s receiving from both sides of the aisle:

And this is where audience understanding is key. Nickelodeon is undoubtedly taking a measured risk, informed by social analytics to determine where their audiences’ opinions lie and understands the potential backlash it may face, along with ways to counter it. Or if they’re not pulling insight from social in any organized way right now, we’re happy to walk them through a demonstration of how to stay ahead of challenging interactions!

But there are many other brands making the rounds this month, so let’s explore some fun options that will challenge the status quo (via fashion statements) long after June has passed.

Flair for Fabulousness

One brand that needs no introduction to Pride Month is GAP.

And GAP is capturing this wave of excitement with a 2019 campaign that “celebrates “love all ways” and what is truly timeless: being true to oneself and one another.” The collection features “messages of love and acceptance [and] includes easy to wear fashion and accessories for women, men, kids and babies.”

And GAP gets the sentiment right as they not only focused on the sale (a big gripe by consumers) but the story, by focusing very specifically on families working through gender nonconforming lifestyles – both for themselves and their children:

And they also take the additional step of donating a percentage of its sales to further equality campaigns lead by the LGBTQ community:

There are many other retailers offering colorful clothes this season, and GAP is one of many that stood out for its commitment to telling real-life stories.

And it’s not just clothing that’s making a splash with meaningful offerings – a staple in machismo has jumped feet first into the fray as well!

Drink If You’ve Got ‘Em

When you think of stereotypical “manly men” activities, you might think of drinking beer. But even if not, “throwing back a cold one” has been a traditionally male past time. And as “the king of beer,” Budweiser obviously is aware of this.

This June, it’s doubling down on owning that description, but spinning it as a ‘beer for all,’ offering rainbow bottle versions in both Budweiser and Bud Light. And “it isn’t just another more colorful bottle of beer—for every case of rainbow-hued Bud Light that is sold, Anheuser-Busch has pledged to donate a dollar to civil rights organization GLAAD, up to a cap of $150,000.”

And while kicking back and drinking a cold one, shoes up on the bar, patrons could be wearing their rainbow Doc Martens something from Converse’s Pride Collection, which, like GAP, revolves around telling individual’s stories:

And also to committing a portion of revenue toward supportive nonprofits:

“Converse is committed to supporting movements for positive social change and amplifying youth voices as they spark progress to build the future they believe in. In celebration of Converse’s annual Pride collection, which started in 2014, contributions are supporting longstanding local and global partners, including It Gets Better Project and OUT MetroWest.”

And that’s really the key takeaway for brands mastering Pride Month this year – marketing must go beyond the surface colors.

Making a Commitment Beyond the Colors

A consistent complaint people have about any holiday is its commercialization. They do not like being emotionally manipulated into buying something because (they feel) retailers have “made it a day to buy things.”

But exploring the true meaning of the day (or month) as brands are really getting into this year with Pride Month, helps consumer feel less like consumers and more like allies. They feel listened to, understood and valued – beyond their buying power, that is. And isn’t that what everyone wants all months of the year?

Brands can become consumer allies any time of the year with the right intel – reach out and we’ll show you how it works!

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