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The Squeeze, Vol. 9: Over the Rainbow

The Squeeze, Vol. 9: Over the Rainbow.

Let's move somewhere over the rainbow.

What’s going on?
This Pride Month brands are combatting rainbow capitalism, moving beyond performative allyship and investing in long-term action.

ICYMI, June is Pride Month, which typically brings an onslaught of rainbow branding and merchandise from corporations pushing messages about their support for LGBTQ+ communities. Oftentimes those brands are partaking in “rainbow capitalism”: the commercialization of LGBTQ+ movements by companies who don’t actually support those communities. Unfortunately many still are in 2022, but plenty of people are taking to social media to call them out for their faux sincerity (see here).

Luckily there are plenty of other brands making concerted efforts to become more inclusive and take action on the issues that LGBTQ+ communities care about most, aiming to foster real change beyond the month of June:

  • Lego’s “A-Z of Awesome” campaign teaches LGBTQ+ vocabulary, encouraging more open conversations around sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, building education and acceptance in turn.
  • McDonald’s and Absolut Vodka are dedicating resources to creating and saving safe spaces for the queer community, like LGBTQ+ bars and restaurants which are closing at exceeding rates.
  • Chipotle is tackling food insecurity – which disproportionately affects LGBTQ adults – by providing $250K in free Chipotle to LGBTQ+ centers across the country, assuring members have access to “Always Real” food throughout the year.
  • Oreo’s “Lifelong Ally” partnership with PFLAG – which launched in April with the impactful short film below – aims to provide education around active and consistent LGBTQ+ allyship.
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What's The Squeeze?
At a time when consumers value purpose-driven branding more than ever, a Pride marketing plan consisting of a rainbow flag isn’t enough.

Social listening data shows that consumers (especially younger ones) are over the rainbow and looking at who is taking action on the issues the LGBTQ+ community and their allies care about most. So, how can we and our clients do more?

  1. Monetary corporate contributions to LGBTQ+ groups are much more appreciated (by all consumers) than rainbow flag campaigns.
  2. Speaking out publicly in support and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community as opposed to staying silent on issues and legislation impacting them… and doing so all 12 months of the year. As “The Note” demonstrates, members of the LGBTQ+ community often come out more than once, and brands need to ‘come out’ for them beyond June.
  3. By representing LGBTQ+ people in advertising. Research shows that it makes non-LGBTQ+ viewers more accepting of LGBTQ+ communities and feel better about buying products from the brands who feature them.
  4. And doing so through storytelling versus stereotyping. The other thing that Oreo’s campaign does beautifully is authentically represent what it means to be LGBTQ+, recognizing that there is uniqueness to each letter that makes up the community.

Related Insights.

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For more information, please contact
[email protected].