It’s a testament to the incredible gains made in recent years that LGBT Pride in 2015 was more visible than it has ever been. This profile is obviously partly due to the famous parades and festivals, which hundreds of thousands attended this weekend in cities across the world, but this year a more widespread campaign of visibility has brought Pride even further into the mainstream. While Pride remains a commemoration of community struggle and achievement, 2015 was also a banner year for brands showing their support.
It only makes sense. In a year dominated by viral PSAs and attention to civil rights, consumers have clearly come to expect more from brands in terms of demonstrating a social conscience. As such, the notable ubiquity of this year’s Pride celebrations was evident on our newsfeeds, our timelines and even our coffee cups. You only had to spot the triumphant rainbow filter Facebook let users apply to profiles or Starbucks handing out free drinks to the best Pride costumes to see that brand involvement is now very much part of the game.
There’s no better demonstration of this than the fact that a Pride advert currently tops Unruly’s Viral Video Chart. YouTube’s ‘#ProudToLove’, a joyous testament to the strides taken in LGBT acceptance, cuts together users’ ‘coming out’ experiences into a frankly pretty moving montage. Having been shared over 200,000 times since release, the spot’s success was undoubtedly affected by Friday’s momentous news that gay marriage will now be legal in all 50 American states. Forty-six years on from the Stonewall Riots, that’s a pretty incredible shift.
As the hashtags ‘#SCOTUSMARRIAGE’ and ‘#LoveWins’ spread across social media, the response online has become tinged with the news. Some brands followed YouTube’s lead with documentary-led focuses on human stories, such as Target’s ‘Take Pride’, Tylenol’s ‘#HowWeFamily’ or Airbnb’s excellent ‘Love Is Welcome Here’, a generation-spanning look at the politics of being gay in public. As an issue that far too frequently gets overlooked, it’s equally encouraging to see the attention paid to transgender rights in both of these spots.
Similarly, Gap’s admirably stripped-back ‘#GotYourBack’ presented LGBT Gap employees and their stories with restraint and sensitivity. It may not be the flashiest of the Pride ads, but it’s certainly one of the most affecting.
On the other end of the spectrum, brands were keen to embrace the technicolour regalia of the event. Android, in typically over-the-top fashion, provided their own miniature Pride parade in the form of ‘And Proud’. Featuring cartoon avatars of Tom Daley, Jessie J, Sir Ian McKellen and more, the short piece captures the exultant aura of Pride while remaining of a piece with the brand’s other work. The same can certainly be said of Chobani’s slightly silly, aspirational approach to yoghurt advertising.
Social media and unconventional outlets also gave brands ample space to show off their Pride colours. This kind of expression took many forms. Jell-O took their own spin on the rainbow flag, Ben & Jerry’s renamed an ice cream ‘I Dough, I Dough’, all while seemingly every single vodka company on Planet Earth jostled for their place in the parade. In perhaps my favourite stunt of the month, Uber celebrated the Supreme Court ruling by sticking tiny Pride flags to their bumpers of their car icons. Although Pride is first and foremost a celebration of civil rights, the striking participation of brands this year shows how creative and thoughtful engagement can even enhance proceedings.
— Unruly ® (@unrulyco) June 27, 2015
A very happy Pride month to everyone and I’ll leave you with comedians Key & Peele and their skewed take on the good news.
[pardot-form id=”4616″ title=”Trending Content Sign Up”]