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Pride Marketing with Purpose: Beyond the Rainbow

June is recognized as Pride Month worldwide, a special time of year dedicated to the celebration and support of the LGBTQIA+ community. 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of St. Pete Pride, one of the largest Pride celebrations in the nation. The event forecasts this year’s parade on June 25 to be the largest in our city’s history and expects 300,000 attendees at Pride events throughout the month. 

As a largely-recognized global celebration, it seems easy to incorporate Pride Month into your marketing plans. On one hand, it’s encouraging for brands to want to reach diverse audiences and have the chance to position or reinvent themselves as more approachable and inclusive.  But merely placing a rainbow flag on your logo for 30 days or publishing an Instagram post with basic pro-LGBTQIA+ language rolled into it isn’t showing solidarity with LGBTQIA+ causes with genuine intentions. In fact, these efforts may be interpreted to look like empty virtue-signaling. This shouldn’t be a limited-time tactic in your marketing plan, but rather an opportunity to actually become a more inclusive brand overall. This is about showing support for those who are discriminated against and still treated unjustly for being their authentic selves. 

One way we like to celebrate Pride Month is by sharing examples of fellow marketers that we think are doing an amazing job in supporting LGBTQIA+ causes with purposeful campaigns.

Being Diverse by Default: Kellogg’s

The “Together With Pride” cereal by Kellogg’s is a great example of a Pride Month product with a more intentional and actionable mission. The cereal features berry-flavored rainbow hearts with edible glitter packaged in a box featuring various Kellogg’s cereal mascots coming together—such as Tony the Tiger of Frosted Flakes, Toucan Sam of Froot Loops, the trio of Snap, Crackle, and Pop of Rice Krispies, and more. 

The special cereal product is a collaboration project with GLAAD, and for every box sold, Kellogg’s donates $3 to support the organization when buyers upload their receipts. This initiative by Kellogg’s shows support for the LGBTQIA+ community with genuine action, not just words—although the words are pretty great, too. Pouring into bowls everywhere, the Kellogg’s “Together With Pride” cereal proclaims the tagline, “Boxes are for cereal, not people.”

Paying it Forward: Harry’s Razors

A smaller brand, yet one with huge impact, Harry’s is a grooming and shave supplies company with a range of high-quality products. Harry’s offers a range of Pride-themed products, including the “Shave With Pride” razor. 

The financial benefaction couldn’t be better; 100% of profits garnered from Harry’s line of Pride-themed products give back to the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQIA+ youth. 

Turning Up the Volume on LGBTQIA+ Voices: Reebok

In 2021, Reebok, the renowned footwear and sports apparel brand, launched the Reebok Collective Program and partnered with activist Lazarus Lynch to create a short film in celebration of the LGBTQIA+ creative community. 

This initiative by Reebok is a great example of a high-quality Pride marketing campaign because the company handed creative control over to the LGBTQIA+ community influencers themselves, allowing them free reign to use their voices to speak about acceptance and authenticity. Rather than speaking on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ community, Reebok amplified the voices of the community themselves.

Action is the Best Form of Allyship

Celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community throughout Pride Month is one way—and in our opinion, a very fun and inspiring way—to show your support for inclusivity and diversity, but make sure that your brand welcomes and supports these values throughout the year. We believe that great marketing requires staying in tune with society and watching how people evolve and grow, while also putting intentional work into your brand’s culture and values for all people. Be diverse by default, pay it forward, and turn up the volume on LGBTQIA+ voices.

Our agency, along with many of our clients, are proud to support St. Pete Pride and are eager to witness the positive impact the 20th anniversary will bring to our community. We are pleased to be surrounded by neighbors in our local economy who join us in promoting values of inclusivity and diversity.