How some of the world’s biggest brands are standing out by taking a stand.
June is Pride month – a worldwide colourful celebration of festivals, gatherings and marches that acknowledge the countless sacrifices and relentless devotion of those who have fought and continue to fight for LGBTQIA+ rights, dignity and equality.
Over time, it has found its strength in evolving from a movement into a global experience. And what always inspires us, is seeing how the world’s biggest brands show their support by doing more than simply hoisting a Pride flag to stand out, but by engaging with the community to take a stand.
Past and present, here are some of our most-loved Pride celebrations, activations and campaigns.
1. TINDER + THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN (HRC) - END THE BLOOD BAN
With the U.S. facing its biggest national blood shortage in over a decade, a company built on the magic of human connection has stepped up to help – Tinder. Teaming up with the Human Rights Campaign – the largest LGBTQIA+ civil rights organisation in the U.S. – they aim to end a 40-year-old policy that prevents men who have sex with other men from donating blood.
During the month of June, the dating app features an “All Types” Pride card that allows eligible users to participate in a study that will hopefully lead to a more inclusive blood donation policy and, in so doing, both spread love and potentially even save lives.
We’re massive fans of both the cause and the simple way of engaging with the focused audience. It elevates the brand’s purpose and app experience to a completely new level.
Since 2017, the American beer behemoth Miller Lite has partnered with the Equality Federation to help advance various initiatives. This year’s slightly more cerebral approach saw them enlist the help of author and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Dr. Eric Cervini, to write a brief historical guide on how bars and bar culture served to empower the LGBTQIA+ community to live authentically and freely.
As Cervini puts it, "Bars were our havens. For most of the 20th Century, an era of rampant homophobia and transphobia, many LGBTQ+ folks had no choice but to live double lives. During the day, while at work or with their families, they acted straight. For their own safety, they often concealed their gender identities. But at night, they went to the bars, where ― at last ― they could be themselves.”
What we love about this piece is how it acknowledges this past and true experience. And, since Miller has been there to support the community since the 70s and pioneered fair treatment and equality within the corporate world, it’s a perfect fit. Reading it, you can’t help but want to go and experience one of these historic landmarks (and a Miller Lite) for yourself, making it a beautifully authentic, historic but relevant brand experience.
3. H&M - BEYOND THE RAINBOW
The rainbow flag is so prolific that almost anything with a rainbow has become synonymous with the Pride movement. And that’s exactly the insight that H&M used to recharge the Pride flag’s meaning and to show its support of the community through an engaging and unexpected digital experience.
They turned everything from actual Pride flags to rainbow donuts into a canvas for personal LGBTQIA+ stories. How? Using your smartphone. All you had to do was scan a rainbow and you’d be sent #BeyondTheRainbow where you can experience first-hand what Pride really means to the beautiful people that belong to the community.
We love how this campaign uses a simple tried-and-tested technology to create an intimate, personal and moving experience.
4. LEGO - EVERYONE IS AWESOME
Fun? Check. Creative? Check. Engaging, inviting and experiential? Check, check, check. Lego’s “Everyone is Awesome” rainbow set (the name being a throwback to the super-catchy song “Everything is Awesome” in the Lego movie) features 11 monochrome mini-figures atop a matching backdrop. It’s extremely simple, yes. But it’s equally bold and captivating.
Lego by its nature is a brand built upon people’s personal experiences with the product. And as soon as this set was launched, Lego fans, fanatics and collectors the world over flocked to social media to show their custom expression of the Lego-inspired pride flag.
We just love how it bridged the gap between personal and public brand engagement, and tapped into the insight of celebrating individuality, expression and identity by becoming a user-generated IRL/digital experience.
5. AGL ENERGY - THE HEART OF MIDSUMMA
We, at Because, are honoured to partner with brands doing great work in the LGBTQIA+ community, having had the enormous pleasure of working with AGL Energy. While most energy companies tend to be very functional and perceived as bland and corporate, AGL stands out as fun, vibrant and inclusive.
A long-time supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community, we were tasked with making AGL’s presence felt, loved and appreciated at Midsumma, Victoria’s premier LGBTQIA+ festival. And we’re super proud of what we created together.
We built a dance floor powered by Pavegen technology – tiles that can harness kinetic energy – to capture the energy of festival goers. As they took to our AGL dance floor, their energy would ignite a giant heart on a big screen to demonstrate, in real time, the power of AGL and its love for the LGBTQIA+ community.
This experience was extended beyond the day through a GIF-booth that allowed people to capture animated loops of themselves and share them on social media with friends and family, or take home printouts.
The dance floor enabled us to showcase AGL’s fun and vibrant take on renewable energy, while creating a branded experience that connected them with the Midsumma and LGBTQIA+ community.
wRAPPING THINGS UP...
With so many Pride campaigns and pieces of work to be proud of, it’s no easy feat to call out one above another. But one thing is certain. We’re looking forward to even more fun and thought-provoking experiential work next year. And if you’d like to reach out and see how we could do the same for your brand, don’t hesitate to give us a shout.
I’m a media and marketing all-rounder, with 15 years’ experience across a range of channels. I’m fascinated by the shop floor and ‘real world’ and love getting out in the field, experiencing the action first-hand, and gathering and sharing consumer insights and knowledge.