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Behind the Rainbow: Successful and Unsuccessful Pride Campaigns

By Jennifer Urena-Cruz

In recent years, many companies have embraced Pride Month and launched

LGBTQ+ campaigns to show their support for the community. While some

companies have successfully executed these initiatives, others have faced criticism

and negative feedback. In this blog post, we will explore both unsuccessful and

successful cases of companies' involvement in Pride Month and LGBTQ+

campaigns. By evaluating the factors that contributed to their outcomes, we can

gain insight into what makes a campaign resonate positively or fall short.



Nike's "Be True" Campaign: Nike has consistently demonstrated support for

the LGBTQ+ community through its "Be True" campaign. The campaign

features inclusive advertisements, limited-edition products, and partnerships

with LGBTQ+ organizations. Nike's commitment to authentic representation

and inclusivity has resonated positively with consumers.

Ben & Jerry's LGBTQ+ Advocacy: Ben & Jerry's has been a long-time

supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and has actively engaged in advocacy efforts.

The company has launched various campaigns, including renaming ice cream

flavors to support marriage equality and partnering with LGBTQ+

organizations to promote equality. Ben & Jerry's genuine dedication to

LGBTQ+ causes have earned them praise and loyalty from the community.


M&S LGBT Sandwich: Marks & Spencer received criticism for releasing an

"LGBT" sandwich during Pride Month, which was seen by many as trivializing

and commodifying the LGBTQ+ community's experiences. The campaign was

perceived as a shallow attempt to capitalize on the Pride celebration without

addressing the broader issues or supporting LGBTQ+ causes.

McDonald's "Rainbow Fries" Campaign: McDonald's faced criticism for its

limited-edition "Rainbow Fries" campaign. Critics argued that the campaign

was an example of "rainbow washing" or exploiting LGBTQ+ themes for

marketing purposes without actively supporting the community or addressing

LGBTQ+ rights issues. The campaign received backlash for its lack of



When it comes to Pride Month and LGBTQ+ campaigns, the difference between

success and failure lies in the authenticity, commitment, and inclusivity

demonstrated by companies. Superficial gestures and tokenism are quickly

recognized and criticized by the LGBTQ+ community. On the other hand, companies

that make a genuine effort to understand and support the community, while

acknowledging intersectionality, tend to succeed. By actively listening,

collaborating, and educating, companies can create impactful campaigns that

promote inclusivity, raise awareness, and foster positive change for the LGBTQ+


Ultimately, the key to a successful Pride Month and LGBTQ+ campaign is not just

about showing support during a specific month but rather integrating inclusive

practices into the company's values and operations year-round.

By doing so,

companies can authentically engage with the LGBTQ+ community and contribute to

a more accepting and equitable society.

1 Comment

Chris Wong
Chris Wong
Jun 17, 2023

Super informative, It's definitely important to make meaningful campaigns for the communities you are trying to represent

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