And just like that, June has become a month of rainbow displays and colourful new releases as brands plan charitable initiatives and capsule collection releases to celebrate and support the LGBTQ community.
But the question remains, should brands use Pride as a marketing campaign? Year after year, brands choose to adopt the LGBT+ pride flag during pride month, but which strategies are making a true impact and resonating with today’s consumers? And are these strategies an act of authenticity or just a ‘quick win’?
Zadig & Voltaire is launching a Pride capsule as part of its charitable division, Art is Hope, with 10 percent of the sales being donated to Queer/ Art, a nonprofit arts organization serving LGBTQ artists. It's interesting to see a two-fold approach to social impact with the brand already curating a charitable division. This already implies a sense of continuous action at the forefront of the brand's strategy, housing a department looking to continue giving back. The consumer favours this as it doesn't seem to be a one-off campaign that is jumping on the Rainbow wagon.
The collection includes six pieces; a hoodie, a sweatshirt, two T-shirts with the statement "Amour" printed in a rainbow colour, a T shirt with "Amour" in rainbow crystals, and a Pride High Flash sneaker. The Pride collection sits proudly in the navigation bar, suggesting this be a long-lasting category and not simply a fleeting landing page.
You can depend on art when driving the conversation around a matter. Ralph Lauren is continuing its 30+ year commitment to the LGBTQ community with its recent Pride campaign exploring the complex and intersectional history of Pride. In the video, the former editor-in-chief of Out magazine, Phillip Picardi interviews luminaries like Ariel Nicholson, Keith Boykin, and Staceyann Chin as they provide insight on the community, the history of Pride, and the New American Dream. This works so well because it's a conversation that has been explored, supported, and celebrated for many years by the brand. The material serves as ongoing support for what the company has done.
Alongside this, Ralph Lauren will merchandise a rainbow assortment of key product categories throughout the month, including rainbow cashmere sweaters, Polo shirts, and canvas sneakers. At checkout, Ralph Lauren will encourage customers to donate to the cause. The brand is also partnering with the Stonewall Community Foundation once more, providing a donation to support the LGBTQ community.
Peloton highlights several key initiatives to celebrate and support the LGBTQ community to commemorate Pride Month. Some initiatives include LGBTQ instructor visibility, highlighting a few who identify as LGBTQ, such as Matty Maggiacomo, Jess King, Cody Rigsby, and Ross Rayburn. This choice helps to communicate to the consumer that they are building a culture that supports what they are promoting. It goes beyond surface marketing and highlights these values as a company has impacted business decisions.
From a product perspective, they are shifting the way that they design by launching a gender-neutral Pride apparel collection and dedicating social impact support to global LGBTQ organizations such as GLADT, The Ali Forney Center, The 519, and London Friend. Peloton will donate an additional $25,000 to each organization in its local currency.
Throughout the month, the company will also host Pride-themed classes in its workouts and through the Artist Series, which are direct collaborations and partnerships with artists. The Peloton workouts will feature a soundtrack featuring the tunes of the highlighted artist.
As an agency, we have a big responsibility in the industry to ensure that our partner's communication with consumers is authentic and genuine. Our job is to advise them on the types of collaborations, partnerships, and collections that need to be considered to make a long-lasting impression and help make a positive impact during awareness months like Pride.
The truth is, a lot of brands cannot do it alone. Partnerships with organisations, and structuring sustainable charitable initiatives are ways in which action can be funnelled through, make an impact, and not be forgotten about. 2022 has been a year whereby we have seen more and more brands consciously move beyond awareness and take action, differentiating themselves from those who don’t. But collaboration will have been and will continue to be key.