“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start,” said Jason Collins, the first male professional athlete to publicly come out as gay. This openness and the celebration that comes with it is why June as Pride Month is so important. It symbolizes acceptance and unity and reiterates how love is love in every form.
Celebrating this month is an excellent way for brands to show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community. But doing it the right way, which is respectful and thoughtfully represents the community, is essential. Because often, it can come across as tokenism and filled with superficial gestures.
In this blog, we will show you how you can extend your camaraderie and show genuine intentions with powerful examples from the best Pride Month campaigns.
What is Pride Month really about?
Pride Month sounds like a celebration filled with colors, parades, and rainbows everywhere. It is a celebration – the celebration of freedom and inclusivity. It acknowledges the struggle and history of the community and the importance of promoting the rights with acceptance today.
However, its inception is profound with the liberation movement. The history of Pride Month has deep roots in the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 in New York City. During that time, members of the LGBTQ+ community faced widespread discrimination and harassment, with frequent police raids on gay bars.
However, on June 28, 1969, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village stood up against a police raid, leading to several days of demonstrations and protests that marked a turning point in the LGBTQ+ rights movement.
The following year, the first Pride marches were held in several cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, to commemorate the Stonewall Riots and demand equality and liberation. Pride Month is a vital platform for advocacy, awareness-raising, promoting inclusivity, and fighting discrimination and prejudice. It offers support and empowerment to LGBTQ+ individuals, creating a sense of community and belonging.
Throughout June, various events, including parades, rallies, workshops, art exhibitions, and cultural festivals, are organized to engage and educate people about LGBTQ+ issues. Millions of people participate in these festivities and demonstrations worldwide to promote equality and acceptance for all sexual orientations and gender identities. Companies also run Pride Month social media campaigns to show their allyship with the community.
How to acknowledge and celebrate pride month on social media?
To run successful LGBTQIA+ campaigns, you must first understand the significance and curate campaigns that reflect the cause and the emotion.
Therefore before you launch your Pride Month marketing campaigns, here are some pointers for you:
1. Educate yourself and others
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the history, experiences, and challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Gain knowledge about terminology, issues, and current conversations. This will enable you to create content that is well-informed and respectful.
2. Collaborate with LGBTQ+ Influencers and Organizations
Partner with LGBTQ+ influencers, content creators, or organizations to co-create content or initiate projects. Collaborations should be based on mutual respect and a shared commitment to advancing LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity.
3. Spread the word on queer-focused organizations
Give a platform to LGBTQ+ individuals, organizations, and activists. You can share their stories, perspectives, and initiatives by featuring guest posts or conducting interviews that showcase their achievements and contributions. Such initiatives help amplify their voices and provide visibility to the community.
4. Be an ally
Participating in Pride Month on social media provides an excellent opportunity for brands to support LGBTQIA+ organizations and initiatives. Be a genuine ally by utilizing your platform to promote and share information about fundraisers, donation drives, and volunteer opportunities, encouraging your audience to actively contribute and make a positive impact.
In addition, create spaces on your social media platforms that foster dialogue and conversation. Encourage your followers to share their stories, experiences, and questions about LGBTQ+ issues. Actively respond to comments and engage in meaningful discussions, creating a respectful and inclusive environment where diverse perspectives are valued.
5. Be supportive throughout the year
Recognize that supporting the LGBTQ+ community requires ongoing effort beyond Pride Month. Commit to inclusivity, diversity, and equality throughout the year in your brand’s policies, hiring practices, and content creation.
Best pride month campaigns and what you can learn from them
In a survey, 91% of respondents said they’re more likely to choose or try a brand that supports the LGBTQ+ community over one that doesn’t. This reiterates the importance for brands from a social and business perspective to show their support for their customers from every segment of society.
Additionally, celebrating Pride Month on social media can be exciting, and you can put on your creative hats to develop interesting POVs. To help you create impactful Pride Month social media campaigns, here are the best Pride Month campaigns for you to get inspired by and set the tone for your social media:
1. LEGO’s “Everyone Is Awesome” campaign
LEGO, a beloved toy company known for its universal appeal, recently made a groundbreaking move by introducing its inaugural set celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community through the “Everyone is Awesome” campaign. This innovative initiative garnered widespread admiration as consumers enthusiastically embraced the set, showcasing their customized versions and praising its inclusive aesthetic.
The “Everyone is Awesome” campaign stands out for its seamless alignment with LEGO’s core values, resulting in an authentic and resonant connection with consumers. While retaining the playfulness and creativity inherent in other LEGO sets, it effortlessly conveys a powerful message of inclusivity without relying on complex language. Consequently, the product received high praise from members of the LGBTQIA+ community and those outside of it.
Matthew Ashton’s remarkable set is a testament to the deep-seated desire for a more supportive and accepting society that appreciates our diverse identities. Crafting the set as a powerful statement about love and inclusivity, Ashton aimed to spread the universal embrace of LEGO’s joy to all individuals who seek it.
His personal experiences of facing adversity as a gay person growing up in the 80s have given him immense pride in the set and the profound message it conveys. With “Everyone is Awesome,” Ashton fervently hopes to empower and uplift each individual, emphasizing their inherent right to acceptance, love, and the freedom to express their unique creativity.
2. Skittles’ Pride Packs
Skittles, a well-known brand famous for its colorful candies and packaging, has come up with a unique idea to celebrate this occasion. They have launched a special edition of gray candies to highlight the significance of the rainbow Pride flag, which serves as a symbol of inclusivity and diversity for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Skittles’ Instagram account offers a diverse mix of content, including product announcements, lighthearted memes, and posts related to the LGBTQIA+ community. An analysis of a year’s worth of content reveals that the brand frequently engages in discussions about LGBTQIA+ topics alongside general product updates and holiday promotions.
While some consumers criticize Skittles for releasing gray candies during Pride Month, others appreciate the brand’s clever and thought-provoking approach. By removing the vibrant colors from its candies, Skittles underscores the importance of the rainbow Pride flag, reminding us of the dullness that would permeate our world without vibrant hues.
Skittles’ campaign goes beyond raising awareness; it actively supports the LGBTQIA+ community through collaborations with LGBTQIA+ artists who design the packaging. Additionally, a portion of the profits from the gray edition is donated to GLAAD, a prominent LGBTQIA+ organization.
3. Xbox’ Pride Controller
With Xbox’s Pride Controller, besides the standard editions, gamers can get their hands on all kinds of colorful and limited editions. In 2022, Xbox released a special controller for Pride Month, bursting with colors from 34 different flags of the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition to the rainbow flag, it also features flags for the trans, intersex, bisexual communities, and many more.
This campaign works because it raises awareness for the LGBTQIA+ community and celebrates diversity. It also emphasizes that the LGBTQIA+ community is more than the well-known rainbow flag. By sending it to LGBTQIA+ members of the gaming community, Xbox is recognizing them as an important part of their customer base. The company also promoted video games popular with the LGBTQIA+ community and donated to non-profit organizations.
4. Microsoft Pride Campaign and involvement
Microsoft’s Pride message this year is a beacon of hope, covering crucial issues like climate change and racial justice beyond just diversity. Their Pride Month video is a testament to their unwavering commitment to change-making and overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles by working together and harnessing the energy of the Pride movement. Seeing a brand go above and beyond to support the LGBTQIA+ community is truly inspiring.
The Together We Can Pride campaign by Microsoft celebrates the intersectionality and strength of the LGBTQIA+ community. Microsoft has donated a whopping $15M to organizations supporting LGBTQIA+ rights, in addition to a recent contribution of $200,000 to five groups fighting for equity and equality. Microsoft also marks the 30th anniversary of its Global LGBTQIA+ Employees and Allies at Microsoft (GLEAM) employee resource group, which has been a staunch advocate for LGBTQIA+ inclusion and Pride at Microsoft.
It is commendable that Microsoft has been promoting LGBTQIA+ inclusion since 1989 and has non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender-affirming healthcare services for all employees, regardless of gender.
5. Quint Media – How the rainbow flag came to represent Pride
Educational content plays a pivotal role in effective branding and strategy. As part of their Pride Month initiatives, Quint Media, an Indian media company, recently unveiled a captivating and informative 4-minute video.
The animated short delves into the origins of the rainbow flag and its significance as a symbol for the LGBTQAI+ community. Rather than relying on superficial statements, the video takes viewers on a fascinating journey through the history of the Pride flag. By the end, viewers are left with a genuine sense of having gained valuable and relevant knowledge. This exemplifies the essence of exceptional content marketing—providing engaging and educational material that leaves a lasting impact.
Pride month social media campaigns – Dos and Don’ts
It is important to celebrate the achievements of the LGBTQIA+ community and honor their struggles as well. However, while doing so during the Pride Month, there is a thin line between being sincere and performative.
You don’t want your campaign to look forced; you want to be sincere in your allyship and be authentic. Therefore here are some dos and don’ts:
- Take the time to understand the history, experiences, and challenges of the LGBTQ+ community. This knowledge will help you create well-informed and respectful content.
- Ensure that your support for Pride Month aligns with your brand’s values and actions. Authenticity is key, as insincere or opportunistic gestures can be easily identified.
- Give a platform to LGBTQ+ individuals, organizations, and activists. Share their stories, perspectives, and initiatives. Collaborate with them to co-create content that showcases their contributions.
- Showcase the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community in your campaigns. Include representations of different sexual orientations, gender identities, races, ages, and abilities. Avoid stereotypes and tokenism.
- Respect individuals’ chosen pronouns, use inclusive language encompassing all gender identities and sexual orientations and avoid outdated or derogatory terms.
- Partner with LGBTQ+ influencers, content creators, or organizations to amplify your message.
- Show your allyship throughout the year and not only during Pride Month.
- Speak up for LGBTQIA+ issues and take a stand when you can.
- Avoid using the LGBTQ+ community as a mere marketing ploy. Genuine support goes beyond superficial representation during Pride Month.
- Steer clear of perpetuating stereotypes or reducing LGBTQ+ individuals to simplistic caricatures. Respect their multifaceted identities and experiences.
- Show respect for the symbols and cultural elements associated with the LGBTQ+ community. Avoid appropriating or commercializing them without understanding their significance.
- Beware of empty gestures that lack substance. Ensure that your support extends beyond Pride Month and aligns with ongoing efforts for LGBTQ+ equality.
- Recognize the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community. Avoid assuming that one narrative or experience represents the entire community.
- Listen to feedback from the LGBTQ+ community. If you receive constructive criticism, take it seriously and make necessary improvements. Engage in dialogue to learn and grow.
- Don’t harp on stereotypes from the community and use social listening tools to understand what needs to be spoken about instead.
- Only changing your social media icons and images to a rainbow is not enough. Make thoughtful posts and campaigns.
- LGBTQIA+ community faces backlash and hatred every day, so when you show your allyship, your campaigns will face some hate too. Ensure your stance is strong, and don’t back down under pressure.
Celebrate Pride Month on social media the right way
The celebration of love in every form and acceptance of each person’s individuality despite their gender and sexual orientation is at the crux of Pride Month. It is about the LGBTQIA+ community; your brand must keep its voice as the core aspect.
Plan your campaigns to show how you care about the cause, and create a narrative that reflects this notion. By doing so, brands can celebrate Pride Month authentically and foster acceptance, unity, and love.
You can use social listening tools to know how your customers feel about Pride Month and what they want you to speak about. If the majority of your customers would feel uncomfortable with the campaign, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t voice your support, but you have to be thoughtful in creating the campaign.
In such instances, brainstorm and create Pride Month marketing campaigns in a way that educates your audience and shines a light on the human aspect of it all.
You can also use social media listening to respond to people who leave hateful comments on such posts and take a stance for the LGBTQIA+ community. Because Taylor Swift once said in her song, “Shade never made anybody less gay” – despite the backlash, a lot of your audience and customers will appreciate your understanding that people from this community cannot change who they are. You can create campaigns that can change people’s mindsets toward them. Social media is extremely powerful that way.
With the campaign, you can also garner new customers who will appreciate your sincerity and stance regarding this subject!
You can use social media listening tools like Radarr to know your audience well and conduct sentiment analysis to create the best Pride Month campaigns.
Book a demo with Radarr and shine on social media with personalized content today.