How Global Brands are Celebrating Pride Month

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the New York City gay club Stonewall Inn, a , sparking a riot which led to six days of protests and conflict with law enforcement— inciting national outrage. It was after this event that the gay rights movement was born and June was dubbed Pride Month.

While Pride Month is a time for members of the LGBTQ+ community to come together and celebrate the strides they’ve made and plan for a better future, many companies across the globe take part in the celebration with new product lines, advertising campaigns, charity partnerships and more in solidarity with the movement.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Pride Month, so in celebration, we’ve examined some of our favorite PR campaigns.

Express

This year, Express launched its first-ever Pride campaign called ‘Love Unites.’ The campaign features a collection of 35 all-gender pieces that celebrate unity, acceptance and individuality. Emphasizing that the campaign is not only about the clothes, but those wearing them, Express partnered with OUT Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Philip Picardi and his staff to share stories of their own journeys of coming out and navigating society as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to the amplification of LGBTQ+ voices through this partnership, the clothier also plans to donate 25 percent of the collection’s proceeds to GLAAD, a media force tackling inclusivity issues to provoke dialogue leading to cultural change, pledging a minimum donation of $100,000.

Gap

Gap, a long-standing supporter of the gay rights movement, launched a Pride-themed campaign with the tagline ‘Love All Ways’ that includes a collection of clothing and accessories for men, women and kids, coupled with a moving video series spotlighting Jodie Patterson, an author and LGBTQ+ advocate, and her family. The video series illustrates the meaning of family and how that continues to evolve with the Pride movement, free from judgment or shame.

The corporation committed to donating 15 percent of sales from the collection to UN Free & Equal in their fourth consecutive year of partnership.

The ‘Love All Ways’ collection is the first Pride campaign under the new leadership of Alegra O’Hare, who was appointed as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Gap in February of this year.

O’Hare told AdWeek that the brand wanted to do something bigger and more cohesive than previous years to really hone Gap’s core values of celebrating individuality and championing diversity.

Bud Light

Although it may come as a surprise, the all-American brew company Bud Light that is typically advertised with “manly men”, farms, football games and other stereotypical heterosexual happenings, has supported the LGBTQ+ cause for quite some time. In fact, this year marks two decades of partnership with GLAAD.

Bud Light has ramped up its support of Pride Month by selling cases of their beer in rainbow bottles in addition to a public declaration of solidarity, that they will also donate $1 to GLAAD for each case sold.

To top it off, the beer maker also sponsored the Governors Ball Music Festival that took place May 31 to June 2 in New York and hosted an all-LGBTQ+ lineup of performers on its own stage.

Disney

Disney has been known for being an ally of the LGBTQ+ community for decades now after publicly opposing the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and allowing same-sex marriages onsite in 2007. In recent years, the parks have begun to sell rainbow ears in celebration of Pride Month throughout June, and recently launched the Rainbow Disney Collection, which includes more than 50 vibrant products inspired by the diversity of Disney fans around the world. Through the end of June, Disney will donate 10 percent of the profits from the Rainbow Disney Collection to GLSEN, the leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive K-12 schools for students belonging to the LGBTQ+ community.

Disneyland Paris will also host its first-ever Pride event this year. Although the Disney parks around the world are home to many ‘Gay Days,’ this is the fist LGBTQ+ event that will be  corporate-sponsored. Called “Magical Pride,” the event will feature a new parade illuminating the streets of Walt Disney Studios Park with rainbow colors, late night attractions and a dance party featuring live music.

As we move further into Pride Month, and the year for that matter, take notice of the companies going above and beyond to make a difference for our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. It’s good PR, after all!

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About the Author

Kiara is Cooper Smith Agency's Account Coordinator, otherwise known as the agency's "worker bee". She offers support to each Account Executive with all of their clients.
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