#SliceSquad Talks Marketing During Pride Month

Each June in the US, companies decide how they are going to show support for Pride Month. This month, we’ve seen it all. From rainbow logo changes on LinkedIn, to Postmates’ “Bottom-Friendly” campaign, and even the silence of well-known brands. We asked the #SliceSquad to weigh in on some of the LGBTQIA+ community campaigns they have seen and how they feel about marketing during Pride.

Marissa Bruette, Content Strategist

I LOVE love, and I love to see the LGBTQIA+ community represented (google “LGBTQIA+” and watch the little google pride parade flash across your screen). While that may be fun, as an audience, we can totally see through any messaging that’s just not authentic and clearly checking a box- looking at you chick-fil-a. SO, do it in a way that’s not just performative. Your content should be inclusive and exclude binary bias. If you feel like your brand has nothing to say, highlight other organizations that do! Create space and let’s spread love ????

Andrew Shober – Strategy Analyst

Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community personally, it is super exciting to see representation from these large corporations… But it does make you think — is this actually in support of a marginalized community, or a ploy to sell a product or meet another business “goal”? I think Pride marketing needs to be very strategic, and resonate with your brand missions and values BEYOND the month of June. If a brand has no prior connection to this community, and hasn’t made prior efforts to show support other than changing their logo to rainbow and posting generic messages on social media, I believe it’s a better look for these organizations to shift their focus elsewhere and begin to focus on bringing light to organizations that DO GOOD WORK for this community.

Dana Schmidt – Chief Strategy Officer

Celebrating Pride is about honoring our LGBTQIA+ community, and it goes beyond “rainbow-izing” your company’s logo. At first glance, I was impressed by Spotify’s “Raise Your Voice” promotion – a podcast playlist meant to amplify the voices of global  LGBTQIA+ activists. They even have a content hub dedicated to Pride! But this is the same organization that pays the openly transphobic Joe Rogan $100 million to be their premier podcast. Spotify has to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. 

On the other hand, you have a brand like Primary – a clothing company for “babies and kids, not boys and girls,” in their own words. They’ve baked inclusion into their mission and purpose, so when they post about shopping their “rainbow collection” during Pride month, you know it’s backed by some meaningful action. Case in point: they’ve pledged to donate $5 from every order to GLSEN, a nonprofit network of educators and students that works to create safe and affirming school environments for LGBTQIA+ students, K-12.

We should be holding space for our LGBTQIA+ friends and family year-round, but Pride is a nice reminder to put our money where our mouths are and support the brands that are using their platform to make real change.

Mary McCusker – Content Account Manager

Campbell’s Soup has historically paved the way when it comes to advocacy for LGBTQIA+ rights in their messaging, but more importantly – in their actions.  When they raised a Pride flag outside of their Camden headquarters at the start of Pride month, this wasn’t in any way performative.  They stay true to their word and have many inclusive policies and benefits in place to protect and advocate for LBGTQIA+ employees, including transgender-inclusive coverage/benefits, their “Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Prevention” policy, and their company OPEN (Our Pride Employee Network).   I remember in 2008, they featured a same-sex couple in one of their commercials, and this sparked so much outrage across the country.  But Campbell’s didn’t back down in their messaging and pushed even harder in their marketing efforts, and their concrete actions, to create an inclusive and safe work environment for members of the LGBTQIA+ community – during Pride month and beyond – when so many other companies issued meaningless statements without actually taking any steps to make anyone feel included, safe, and protected. 

Cass Bailey – CEO & Founder

I LOVE love, and I love to see the LGBTQIA+ community represented I loved this campaign from LEGO.  The visual was great, the partnerships were meaningful, and it was focused more on the employer brand than selling products.  The campaign just made me feel happy and joyful from the first moment I saw it.  Also – shout out to our friend and Social Media Day speaker, James Gregson from LEGO.

Caroline Hromy – Senior Social Media Account Manager

I personally loved this campaign from Vans. For this campaign, Vans donated $200,000 to LGBTQIA+ charities around the world, including GLSEN and Where Love is Illegal. They also supported and amplified creators who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community by working with them directly on the design of their new collection.

Sara McGovern – Vice President of Client Service

I think the most meaningful Pride campaigns elevate the voices of people from the LGBTQIA+ community. This campaign from Levi’s caught my eye. They’ve created a gender neutral pride collection to celebrate the spectrum of identities in the LGBTQIA+ community. The campaign features advocates from the community and highlights some of the incredible work they’re doing. Levi’s also donated $100,000 to OutRight Action International, a global organization working to advance LGBTQIA+ rights around the world.

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