PR: Passionate about Pride or Profit?
When it comes to Public Relations (PR) campaigns, brands have a habit at either getting it very right or horribly wrong. Following Pride month in June, we take a look at the brands that got Pride right, and the ones that didn’t!
With so many organisations chasing the pink pound, it’s hard to decipher which ones are sincere and which ones are merely jumping on the rainbow bandwagon in order to profit without giving back to the LGBTQ community (46% of brands to be precise!). But beware, disingenuous brands won’t get away with it, as a quarter of the LGBTQ community purposely avoid brands that are not authentic!
It’s no wonder why so many brands want a piece of the Pride pie as it gives them a direct channel to the LGBTQ market, currently estimated to be worth $5 Trillion. But in order for brands to effectively engage with the LGBTQ community, they need to show support in line with their own brand values and, most importantly, remember what Pride is really about (aside from parades, parties and attractive advertising spaces!). This year, Pride marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Manhattan – an incredibly influential movement that changed gay rights forever, especially when you consider that 50 years ago it was forbidden for a same sex couple to hold hands in public.
As consumers increasingly have access to a whole wealth of information online, and not to mention what’s now available via social media, it has never been more relevant for brands to evaluate their positioning in such movements before risking their reputation. After all, it didn’t go down well amongst the LGBTQ community when it was revealed that Primark was manufacturing their ‘Pride T-Shirt’ in countries where the LGBTQ are treated appallingly. Nor did it do Adidas’ reputation much good when they supported the Russian World Cup (a country that calls Pride “gay propaganda”) right after launching their ‘Pride Pack’.
So, which brands got Pride right and what did they do differently? Here are three of our favourite.
Using artists who identify as LGBTQ to design limited edition packaging and giving them a platform to speak, Skittles was able to keep the LGBTQ community at the heart of their campaign.
2. Practice what you preach!
Starbucks has earned its stripes among the LGBTQ community after pledging and implementing comprehensive healthcare for all of its transgender employees covering previous elective procedures.
3. Give 100% back!
Fossil is giving all proceeds from its limited edition rainbow watch to the non-profit organisation; Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), which supports LGBTQ youth.