Why celebrate Pride Month all year round?

The communication of companies and brands on the occasion of Pride Month can be an important driver of changes in society, if done in the right way.

4 min to read
Written by: Written by: Marko Sitar

June is behind us, known all over the world as Pride Month. It is a reminiscent of the Stonewall riots in 1969, an event that was recorded as the first rebellion by members of the LGBTQ+ community against the systematic persecution of sexual minorities by the US government at the time. As a reminder of that event, pride parades and activist gatherings are taking place in many countries during June to send a message about diversity, tolerance and acceptance, but also to raise awareness of the everyday problems that affect the LGBTQ+ community and how homophobia and transphobia are harmful to the society we live in.

In 2020, the European Commission adopted a strategy and action plans to ensure comprehensive protection against discrimination within the framework of EU legislation. However, the 2021 Fundamental Rights Report showed that LGBTQ+ people across the EU face multiple discrimination and that social acceptance of members of this community has significantly decreased compared to the previous period. The appearance of hate speech against LGBTQ+ people in public discourse is particularly worrying because it encourages discrimination and intolerance towards the freedom to love.

Activism or rainbow capitalism?

In the last few years, more and more media and influential people from political and social life publicly support the LGBTQ+ movement and call people for acceptance and solidarity, as well as numerous brands that highlight their products and logos in rainbow colors during Pride Month and carry out various campaigns to emphasize how “gay friendly” they are. As in all campaigns that aim to be socially responsible, the question arises whether this is done because of true intentions – to increase the visibility and destigmatize the group of sexual minorities, or whether it is all about the rainbow capitalism, a marketing strategy or a kind of “trick” to increase sales of a certain product, but this time through the queer community and those who support it. There are numerous examples on the market when companies pop up with rainbow colors on their websites and posters during June, and at the same time, finance organizations whose mission is to deny the legal rights and freedom of the LGBTQ+ community. In this case, it is pure money making on important social issues, which ultimately results to the trivialization of the entire movement and the symbols that belong to it.

Good examples that show how to do it in the right way

On the other hand, some companies are long-term ambassadors of the LGBTQ+ movement and with their campaigns provide support to the community not only during Pride Month, but all 365 days a year. Among the most well-known examples is IKEA, which this year in Croatia also courageously and decisively expressed its support and solidarity. In addition to being part of foundations that deal with the inclusion of members of the LGBTQ+ community in the working environment on a global level, every year it proudly raises rainbow flags in front of its stores and donates part of the funds to organizations that provide legal and psychological support to people from the local LGBTQ+ community.

Photo: example of IKEA campaign showing support for Croatian LGBTQ+ community  

Source: IKEA Croatia

One of the most prominent and creative campaigns on the occasion of Pride Month was carried out by MARS, i.e. the Skittles brand. During June 2020, Skittles launched a series of candies in gray colors with the slogan: only one rainbow matters during Pride. This year, as a sign of solidarity with the community, six LGBTQ+ artists created six special packs of Skittles candies on the occasion of Pride Month, where the gray packs will have other colors, and the artists will show through the design how they perceive the recognizable rainbow.

Video: Skittles “Pride” packs on the occasion of 2022. Pride Month

Every year, the American technology giant Apple creates a special line of smart watches inspired by Pride symbols and donates part of the funds to various organizations that fight for equality and a dignified life for LGBTQ+ people. In addition to Apple, the list of big brands known for their contribution and social activism in favor of the LGBTQ+ community includes Tinder, META, adidas, Nike, Absolut, Reebok, Coca-Cola, Booking.com, Balenciaga, Lego, Oreo, Levi’s , LELO and many others.

Inclusivity throughout the year

Companies should keep in mind how important it is to support and apply the inclusiveness of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year and to have a good understanding of their issues. Every campaign, message or product should be well thought out and authentic. The most important message they should convey is that love comes in different colors and shapes and it is the responsibility of all of us to build a society based on respect, acceptance and tolerance.

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