In case you missed it, President Obama officially declared June as Pride month for the LGBT community. Although many states have celebrated LGBT Pride in June since the 1969 Stonewall riots, it's a bold step for the President to make an official proclamation. And it's not only the President who is bringing attention to Pride month. Big brands are making a statement by launching marketing campaigns targeting the LGBT audience during June.
When you think of LGBT Pride, you may not immediately think of breakfast cereal. General Mills is changing that with their #LuckyToBe campaign. Using their iconic Lucky Charms as the face of the campaign, General Mills encourages people to tweet or post online reasons why they are proud using the hash-tag #LuckyToBe. The great thing about this campaign is that although it targets the LGBT community, it appeals to a broad audience. This helps increase awareness of the brand across multiple demographics.
Recently, Facebook added new emoticons for users to use when posting a status update. Just in time for Pride month, users now have the"feeling pride" emoticon to express how they feel. Facebook is also encouraging users to use the hashtag #PrideConnectsUs to help show their pride. While it may prove controversial, Facebook again has people engaging in a dialogue that other brands may shy away from. As they say, no press is bad press.
For Pride month, Macy's teamed up with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to create their "Pride + Joy" campaign. It encourages customers to get involved with Pride month by either taking part in one of their in-store events or by taking action with HRC. As a tertiary message, customers are also reminded that Macy's can take care of all of their wedding registry needs. By teaming up with HRC, Macy's is able to add credibility to their involvement with the LGBT community.
YouTube, along with parent company Google, launched their #ProudToPlay campaign targeted at reaching LGBT and ally athletes. The purpose of this campaign is to bring awareness of LGBT athletes in sports and to help end anti-LGBT bias. They also encourage users to upload their own videos about LGBT sports issues that YouTube will highlight over Pride month. Coming from two of the most trafficked websites in the world, this is a huge statement and it will be interesting to see the impact of the campaign.
This year Nike produced a #BeTrue collection of apparel in support of Pride month. “We are a company committed to diversity, inclusion and unleashing human potential,” said Tim Hershey, Nike Vice President of Global Merchandising and Executive Chair of Nike’s LGBT & Friends Employee Network. Nike is also donating part of the proceeds from this collection to the LGBT Sports Coalition. A little charity goes a long way with consumers.
These are just a few of the brands who are taking notice of the LGBT market and deciding to target it directly. With Pride month getting such national recognition in 2014, what better time to establish or reinforce your brand with a niche audience. Which marketing campaigns do you think will shine this Pride month?