Pride is more than profit.

It’s always refreshing to see brands participate in Pride by changing their logos or launching campaigns in support of the community. However, the age-old argument still remains as important as ever: are they doing it for money or because they truly care about the community?

While it’s doubtful that sincerity can ever truly be separated from profit, it’s still possible to appreciate some heartwarming, well-planned and well-meaning campaigns which, at the very least, showcase how the Indian and global community has become much more accepting of the LGBTQAI+ community than they were before. 

Without further ado, here are 6 iconic pride campaigns of the past:

 

NIKE: BETRUE

BeTrue has been an annual show of solidarity between Nike and the LGBTQAI+ community since 2012 which also celebrates the vibrant and meaningful month of Pride. Every year, Nike releases a collection of apparel and footwear with rainbow-themed gradients to celebrate and emphasise the message of acceptance, inclusivity and equality. 

Nike also supports the community beyond new launches in Pride Month. It’s donated more than $4 to LGBTQAI+ causes across the globe and supports 20 organisations to advance the community through grants administered by the American Charities Aid Foundation.

 

LEGO: “EVERYONE IS AWESOME!”

Remember the catchy tune “Everything is awesome?” from the LEGO movie in 2014? In 2021, Lego turned that into their Pride campaign, “Everyone is awesome.”, with a superb rainbow-coloured LEGO set.

They also launched a landing page which featured a range of vibrant content, such as interviews with fans and employees from the Pride community. 

It’s safe to say that Lego utilised a perfect blend of clever and effective marketing along with a radiant and sincere celebration and upliftment of Pride.

 

QUINT MEDIA: HISTORY OF THE RAINBOW FLAG

Knowledge is power. Indian media company Quint Media understood this better than anyone else when they released a fun, animated 4-minute video explaining how the iconic rainbow flag came to be seen as the symbol of Pride and the LGBTQAI+ community. The video may be bright and vibrant, but it’s also incredibly educational, and focuses on engaging and meaningful storytelling. Comments on YouTube were full of appreciation, and it’s safe to say that Quint Media has cracked the code for effective and genuinely heartfelt content marketing.

 

SKITTLES: “GIVING UP OUR RAINBOW TO CELEBRATE THE ONE THAT MATTERS

Skittles are well-known and well-loved for their bright, colourful sweets with a popular slogan, “taste the rainbow.”

However, Skittles flipped their game around for Pride. Their usually-vibrant sweet-packets lost all their shine and turned completely grey. This was because they wished to give up their own rainbow to celebrate the Pride Rainbow, “the one that matters.”

Skittles partnered with six talented individuals within the community to help them create pack designs depending on how they saw the rainbow. Furthermore, they partnered with GLAAD, an American non-governmental organisation which was founded as a protest against defaming coverage of LGBTQAI+ people. 

Interestingly, rather than waiting till June, promotional buzz for this campaign began in May. This clearly showed their audience that they had given sincere thought to this campaign rather than jumping on the bandwagon at the last minute. 

 

H&M: BEYOND THE RAINBOW

H&M’s Pride campaign in 2021 was a perfect example of how digital tech can be used to brighten and enhance feelings of celebration and belonging by telling stories behind the rainbow flag of Pride. They developed an app where people can upload their own personal, meaningful Pride stories, and other users can access them by scanning any – yes, any – rainbow flag. These stories can include their thoughts on growing up, finding love, coming out and accepting themselves. This was an ultimate celebration of the Pride flag: it was an essential part of the campaign experience, but it was also used for people to express themselves in a personal, impactful and profound manner.

 

FASTRACK: “THE CLOSET”

Fastrack was one of the very first brands in India to show its unapologetic support for the LGBTQAI+ community in a simple, bright, extremely encouraging manner. This aligned with their goal of questioning societal norms as well as their brand-line, “Move On”.

Way back in 2013, it released a mass advertisement titled “The Closet”, showing a lesbian couple physically and metaphorically coming out of a bright pink closet. Daft Punk’s “Something About Us” played in the background, which was extremely apt for the short film’s narrative. The ad was straightforward and supportive without being patronising, and remains one of the most iconic and cherished Pride ads till this day. 

Nor was this ad Fastrack’s only instance of support. Just last year in 2022, it launched the campaign #PrideInOurPronouns, which called out the accepted gender binaries of society, encouraging people to “just ask” others how to refer to them rather than misgendering them.

 

Each of these brands, including some very big names, have celebrated Pride in very different and very impactful ways. Some of them prioritised knowledge, some have prioritised personal experiences, and some have prioritised digital storytelling with simple and impactful messages. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the list of companies that celebrate Pride is growing, which is extremely hopeful for the future.