As we are in the third week of Pride Month, and at the beginning of Toronto’s Pride Week, many brands are activating to celebrate Pride and the LGBTQ community. From exclusive product lines with profits benefitting LGBTQ charities and resources, to a temporary change in branding, these companies are standing up to support diversity and inclusivity in the month of June and beyond.
1. A Change in Logo and Branding: The Big Five Banks
A company’s logo is its most valued and protected asset. As such, guidelines are often published on the strict use of logos, including anything from what background colour it must be printed on, to how much space to leave between it and other logos on a page. This is why it is so impressive that four out of The Big Five Canadian banks (RBC, TD, Scotiabank and CIBC) have altered their logos for the month of June, adding rainbows to the design. While BMO has not updated its logo for Pride Month, the bank has shown its support of the LGBTQ community through its #BMOPride campaign that includes online imagery and in-store collateral.
2. New Products and a Wider Campaign: Nike/Converse
Late last month, Nike launched its BETRUE 2017 line of products, in support and celebration of LGBTQ Pride. The line was also developed as a part of Nike’s wider Equality campaign, promoting “the passion and pursuit of sport by all athletes.” Leveraging a pre-existing campaign strengthens a brand’s Pride initiative by rooting it with authenticity. It also benefits the original campaign, by facilitating the creation of an extension via product development.
Nike-owned Converse also launched a new line of shoes designed in vibrant Pride-related colours, with net proceeds being donated to the It Gets Better Project and the Happy Hippie Foundation, two organizations focused on empowering LGBTQ youth.
3. Leveraging Trends in Technology: Instagram
Recognizing the popularity of the selfie among Millennials and Generation Z, Instagram earlier this year launched its Stories feature, utilizing (or copying in some users’ views) similar lenses and stickers as fellow photo-sharing app Snapchat. In celebration of Pride Month, Instagram launched a series of Pride lenses, stickers and brushes for users to include in their Stories, not just at certain events and locations like some Snapchat filters, but anywhere. As a bonus, Instagram reportedly used LGBTQ artists to develop the creative.
4. Building Influencer Relationships: MeUndies
Underwear brand MeUndies has grown significantly within the past few years because of its products’ soft material and matching sets for male and female shoppers. Its branding appeals to millennials and aims to support a “feel good” lifestyle. MeUndies celebrated Pride Month with a product launch, like Nike and Converse, but leveraged the power of influencer marketing. Partnering with popular LGBTQ advocates from the sports and entertainment industries as well as from local LA groups, MeUndies created an integrated campaign that is authentic and resonates with its audience and the LGBTQ community.
5. Pushing the Envelope: Skittles
Skittles took a unique approach to Pride Month this year, one that is similar to the logo change of The Big Five banks, but with an interesting spin. Skittles stripped its rainbow colouring from packaging and candies in special edition Pride bags to “Give the Rainbow” back to LGBTQ groups during the month of June. While some consumers were put off by the all-white Skittles candies, most understood and appreciated the idea behind recognizing the rainbow as a symbol of Pride. While many brands are adding the rainbow to their marketing materials, Skittles has taken a bold move for the second year in a row by removing it entirely.