June is Pride Month and over the past couple of decades we’ve all seen corporate America rush to show how much they support LGBTQIA+ awareness and representation. While this is a great development, it’s clear that brands big and small need to be smart about how they go about waving the rainbow flag. Sometimes they hit the mark, but just as often, they miss it badly. We’ve collected a few great pride campaigns to show you how brands can use their reach to create more awareness for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Levi’s “All Pronouns All Love” collection took a slightly different approach when designing their pride collection for 2021. Levi’s decided to use as many colors as possible and not just the traditional rainbow color palette. They also offer several customizable products to give customers the opportunity to create clothes that represent their true personality, the type of advocacy that many members of the LGBTQIA+ crave from brands. The “All Pronouns All Love” collection embraces being unique and shows Levi’s ability to adapt to change as the world does.
Anheuser-Busch is the parent company of Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, Stella Artois and more. They have a long-standing history of support for the LGBTQIA+ community and they continue to produce advertisements on many different platforms to express their pride and support. Anheuser-Busch’s biggest brand, Bud Light, has been partnered with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for over 20 years and has donated generously over the course of their partnership. Along with their monetary contributions, the thing that really makes Anheuser-Busch stand out in their support of the LGBTQIA+ community is their dedication to inclusivity in the workplace. They received a perfect 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ Equality.
Morphe, a popular makeup brand, is also well-known for their support of the LGBTQIA+ community. They launched their 2021 “Live with Love collection” with 100% of net proceeds from the collection going directly to The Trevor Project, the largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQIA+ community and youth. As further incentive the brand also offers a discount if you purchase their entire “Live with Love collection.” Morphe is known for having intensely pigmented eyeshadows which means a colorful pride palette is exactly what consumers crave. Their bright high-quality photos and advertisements catch the eye, but their reputation of good quality products at fair prices ultimately makes Morphe successful.
Rather than mass-producing rainbow-colored products for pride month, Lush invited their team members who are in the LGBTQIA+ community to share stories of when they’ve felt the most seen. These inspiring stories are available on their website where Lush also invites you to take action in helping Pass the Equality Act. Their website also provides several articles to read that help improve awareness surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition, Lush produces the body lotion Charity Pot, and 100% of the proceeds go to small groups working in areas of human rights, animal protection and environmental justice. While this product wasn’t created only to celebrate Pride Month, the proceeds still go towards many groups who help support the LGBTQIA+ community. Lush welcomes anyone to share a time they personally felt the most seen by posting their story to Instagram, tagging @lushcosmetics, and using the hashtag #SeeingMe.
One last thing on this topic: major brands are sometimes accused of so-called “rainbow washing,” which Urban Dictionary defines as “The act of using or adding rainbow colors and/or imagery to advertising, apparel, accessories, landmarks, et cetera, to indicate progressive support for LGBTQ equality (and earn consumer credibility) — but with a minimum of effort or pragmatic result.” So, if your business wants to show support during Pride Month, be sure to put some effort and creativity into it. Make sure your acceptance is reflected in your work environments and hiring practices and be sure to put your money where your mouth is by supporting LGBTQIA+ organizations.