By David Hazelton
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I always associate Pride Month with the beginning of summer. It is a wonderful time of year filled with sunshine, warm weather, and rainbows everywhere. As a member of the marketing community, the branding of these rainbows really stands out to me. I work with design and brand standards every day. Watching brands modify their logos with rainbows, and build campaigns around the month-long celebration of Pride always sparks my interest.
Pride allows us to celebrate the universality of the LGBTQIA+ experience, as well as the millions of singular experiences within that community. There are a lot of letters in that acronym, and each one represents a set of people with their own collective and individual experiences. For example, as a gay man, my perspective and understanding of the LGBTQIA+ experience may be quite different than that of a transgender individual. We all fit under the same rainbow, but we are not a monolithic group, which makes marketing to this segment a challenge.
I remember a time, not so long ago when it was detrimental and risky for brands to market to the gay community. Times have changed, and now it seems brands face a reputational risk if they do not acknowledge the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride. So many companies are weaving rainbows into their branding this month, and some really go above and beyond with their marketing campaigns in an authentic effort to support the LGBTQIA+ community. One campaign that I find notable comes from Bombas. Probably best known for their socks, Bombas has extended their product line this month to include a commemorative Pride collection that was designed in collaboration with queer artists. According to the company’s website, for each of these items purchased, another is donated to LGBTQ+ charities to help fight the homelessness that disproportionately affects BIPOC and transgender individuals within the LGBTQ+ community.
Whether Pride marketing efforts are large or small, it is nice to see major brands being involved, raising awareness and addressing the ongoing work for acceptance and equality.
About the Author
David Hazelton has over 30 years of professional experience in branding and marketing communications. He is the design director at ProShares, and an adjunct instructor at West Virginia University where he teaches graduate-level courses in integrated marketing communications.
David has been a member of AMADC since 2015 and actively mentors in the Marketing Mentors Network, AMADC's signature mentor program.