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.