It’s that time of year again, where brands unite and show their support for LGBT rights with a range of marketing campaigns. And whilst it’s great to see them championing the community, is a temporary rainbow coloured logo really enough?
Don’t get me wrong, there are many brands out there that support the community all year round, but then there are those that jump on the bandwagon and pledge their support for a just short couple of weeks. Take Costa for instance last year, who announced that they’d be doing rainbow coloured cups – great idea, but the issue was the limited availability, as they could only be found in 6 cities for a couple of weeks.
As a Marketing Exec, I completely understand the temptation to run a campaign during LGBT Pride Month as it’s a fantastic PR hook that is bound to get coverage – whether it be positive or negative. But when I see companies merely changing the colour of their logo it’s a poor effort. Brands should focus on the gritty issues that face the minority, and build it into their campaign – this could be something as simple as donating a percentage of their profits to an LGBT charity.
Like I say, not every brand is a culprit, and some have continued to show their support for LGBT rights all year long. Ben & Jerry’s rebranded two of its ice cream flavours when same-sex marriage was legalised in Vermont and the UK. “Chubby Hubby” became “Hubby Hubby” and their apple pie flavour renamed “Apple-y Ever After”. What’s more, when Australia refused to legalise it, the brand refused to sell same-flavour double scoops in all their stores and started a petition!
Converse has made big strides towards LGBTQ inclusion over the past couple of years. Whilst the shoe manufacturer does make use of the rainbow flag in its design, every campaign is executed well, and they make a conscious effort to show their support all year. For instance, in May, the brand brought out a trainer inspired by the trans flag saying it was “a small way to pay respect to rebels and heroes that paved the way”. Their recent campaign stars transgender models including Navy Seal Kristin Beck.
Slapping a rainbow coloured flag on products just isn’t enough, brands need to educate themselves, and understand the key issues facing the LGBT community and feed this into campaigns. More companies need to take a leaf out of Ben & Jerry’s book and initiate some real change.
By Sophie Madgewick, Marketing Exec.
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