The Importance of Pride Month in Marketing: How to Create Inclusive Campaigns
7 min read
Welcome to the vibrant world of Pride Month! As the calendar flips to June, the LGBTQIA+community and its allies come together to celebrate love, diversity, and inclusion. But Pride Month isn’t just about parades and rainbows; it presents a valuable opportunity for marketers to connect with their audience on a deeper level.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why Pride Month is crucial in marketing and provide practical tips for implementing a Pride Month campaign that embraces inclusivity. Furthermore, we’ll delve into why an inclusivity agenda should be a year-round commitment rather than a fleeting focus for just one month.
How to create an inclusive marketing campaign
Did you know that supporting LGBTQ+ causes and rights can have a significant impact on your business? 45% of under–34s say they’re more likely to do repeat business with an LGBTQIA+–friendly company.
When it comes to Pride-themed campaigns, the benefits go beyond just showing support. These campaigns have been proven to generate higher engagement rates and foster positive brand sentiment across social media platforms. And here’s the cherry on top: LGBTQIA+ consumers are known to be incredibly loyal.
When they find a brand that genuinely embraces inclusivity, they become passionate advocates, spreading the word and recommending the brand to others. So how can you create an inclusive campaign for this Pride Month? Allow us to present our topmost essential tips.
- Embrace Authenticity and Representation
When crafting Pride Month campaigns, it is crucial to ensure authenticity and representation. Instead of merely jumping on the bandwagon, take the time to understand and appreciate the experiences and challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. Authenticity can be achieved by involving members of the community in the campaign creation process, consulting with LGBTQIA+ employees or external consultants, and seeking their input to ensure respectful representation.
- Educate and Raise Awareness
Pride Month is not just about celebrations; it is also an opportunity to educate and raise awareness about LGBTQIA+ history, struggles, and achievements. Your marketing campaign can go beyond the superficial and showcase meaningful stories, milestones, and positive role models within the community. By providing educational content, you can help dispel stereotypes, address misconceptions, and foster empathy among your audience.
- Create Inclusive Visuals and Messaging
79% of people believe gay women are under-represented in advertising. Visual elements play a significant role in marketing campaigns. When designing visuals for Pride Month, make sure they reflect a diverse range of gender identities, sexual orientations, and experiences. Avoid tokenism and aim for genuine inclusivity.
Furthermore, be mindful of the language and messaging used in your campaign. Use gender-neutral and inclusive language that respects and acknowledges the LGBTQ+ community, their pronouns, and their identities. This LGBTQIA+ inclusive language guide may help you learn more about what to say and what to know about the LGBTQ+ community.
Partner with LGBTQIA+ Organisations
Collaborating with LGBTQIA+ organisations and nonprofits can be a powerful way to demonstrate your commitment to the community. By forming partnerships, you not only amplify the impact of your campaign but also contribute to meaningful initiatives and causes. Prioritise organisations that have a track record of supporting LGBTQIA+ rights and whose values align with your brand’s mission.
Listen and Respond to Feedback
No marketing campaign is perfect, and it is essential to approach Pride Month campaigns with a willingness to listen and learn. Actively engage with feedback from the LGBTQIA+ community and take steps to address any shortcomings or missteps. Learn from the feedback and make improvements, demonstrating your commitment to growth and inclusivity
Share Your Company’s Strategic Plan on Social Media
By sharing your company’s specific initiatives that support LGBTQIA+ employees or community members, you can highlight the impactful work being done and inspire others to join in. In fact, one of the best ways your brand can show genuine support is by highlighting the stories of employees.
Stay away from rainbow washing
Remember, your support of the LGBTQIA+ community should be rooted in a genuine desire for positive change, not a fleeting moment of commercialisation. Embrace the responsibility of being a part of the movement, investing your time, resources, and voice to make a lasting impact on society.
…and a few more pro digital marketing tips
Focus on SEO
Members of the LGBTQIA+ community express their true selves; many individuals face the challenge of finding a sense of belonging. However, they refuse to be defined by these limitations and instead, turn to the power of search. By leveraging search engines, they actively seek out spaces and brands that offer acceptance, safety, and inclusion. Through search, LGBTQIA+ individuals can discover a world where their identities are celebrated and embraced, paving the way for a more inclusive and understanding society.
Invest in progressive ads
Did you know that being progressive in your advertising approach can significantly impact campaign performance? According to Kantar Millward Brown, progressive ads are 47% more likely to be effective in both the short and long term. By embracing progressive messaging, you can tap into the evolving values and beliefs of consumers, resonating with them on a deeper level.
Not only that, but progressive ads also trigger 25% more positive engagement from consumers compared to less progressive advertisements. This means that by championing inclusive and forward-thinking ideas, you have the power to capture attention, foster a positive brand perception, and create lasting connections with your target audience. So, don’t be afraid to take a bold and progressive stance in your advertising campaigns – the numbers show that it pays off!
Partner with LGBTQIA+ influencers
It is important for brands to recognise intersectional identities. Your brand can enhance its reflection of the world we live in by partnering with diverse creators and amplifying marginalised voices beyond what may be considered palatable. This will ensure an accurate representation of the world and its people and will also help build trust among customers. It also demonstrates a commitment to social justice, which can be appealing to a generation of socially conscious consumers.
Anticipate negative comments
Unfortunately, not everyone embraces the values of inclusivity and acceptance, and some individuals may respond with hostility or criticism. In the face of such challenges, it’s essential to stay resilient and committed to their message of inclusivity.
One common response to negative comments is the removal of Pride Month ads in an attempt to avoid controversy. However, this approach can inadvertently silence the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community and undermine the progress being made. Instead, it’s important to approach these situations with a thoughtful strategy.
Be inspired by 4 amazing inclusive campaigns
Airbnb’s “Is Mankind?” (2015)
In this groundbreaking campaign, Airbnb highlighted its commitment to inclusivity and acceptance by featuring real stories from LGBTQIA+ hosts and guests around the world. The campaign emphasised that, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, people are people, and everyone deserves respect and acceptance.
Why we like this campaign: The powerful storytelling and emotional impact of the campaign resonated with audiences, reinforcing Airbnb’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive platform.
Coca-Cola’s “Pool Boy” (2017)
Coca-Cola’s Pride campaign featured a heartwarming commercial that tells the story of a brother and sister competing for the attention of the “pool boy.” When their mother hands him a Coca-Cola, it turns into a moment of unexpected connection as both siblings realise they share a common interest in the pool boy.
Why we like this campaign: The commercial delivered a message of acceptance and celebrated the diversity of love and relationships, earning widespread praise for its inclusive storytelling.
Spotify’s “Pride Stories” (2021)
Spotify launched a multi-faceted Pride campaign that celebrated LGBTQIA+ musicians, podcasters, and creators. They curated special Pride playlists, created exclusive content featuring LGBTQIA+ artists, and launched a dedicated Pride hub on their platform. Spotify encouraged users to engage with the LGBTQIA+ community, discover new voices, and support queer creators.
Why we like this campaign: The campaign successfully combined music, storytelling, and inclusivity to create a genuine, vibrant and supportive environment.
H&M “Beyond the Rainbow” (2021):
H&M showed their support for the LGBTQIA+ community with a digital experience that let anyone scan rainbow Pride flags ranging from physical flags to vibrant representations found in everyday items such as doughnuts, shampoo bottles, and more. By scanning these symbols of Pride, viewers were transported to #BeyondTheRainbow, embarking on a profound exploration of intimate, surprising, heartbreaking, and joyful stories that authentically captured the essence of Pride. To witness this remarkable experience firsthand, visit beyondtherainbow.hm.com.
Why we like this campaign: Supporting corporate activism and social responsibility with funds is an integral part of corporate activism. H&M donated $100,000 USD to the United Nations Free & Equal Campaign in addition to amplifying stories and educating the public.
Why is it essential for your Pride campaign to extend beyond Pride Month?
While Pride Month provides a dedicated time to focus on LGBTQIA+ inclusion, it is essential to support the community throughout the year. Consider making long-term commitments, such as donations, sponsorships, or volunteering, to organisations that work towards equality and provide support to the LGBTQIA+ community. Your ongoing support will demonstrate authenticity and strengthen your relationship with the community.
Let’s embrace this Pride Month
Let us embrace this month as a chance to learn, grow, and create a more inclusive society, one campaign at a time. Each campaign we undertake contributes to this greater cause. It is imperative that we actively strive to become better allies for those who are underrepresented or lack the means to voice their experiences.
To commence this journey, let us prioritise listening and understanding diverse perspectives, engaging in meaningful dialogue, and taking tangible actions that support initiatives promoting equity and justice. Together, we can make a meaningful impact.
Looking for more information? Discover with us some of the best and worst Pride campaigns.
Happy Pride Month! 🌈