In 2017, Amazon Music became the first official music sponsor of Pride in London festival, creating a 50 track set list of LGBT+ anthems for customers to download or stream for free, partnering the Women’s Stage and proudly marching in the Parade with glamazon – Amazon’s employee LGBT+ network. Amazon Music also launched an online advert that celebrates LGBT+ relationships, highlighting the powerful role music plays in our everyday lives. The partnership came as part of Amazon’s continued work to support diversity in the technology sector, in addition to becoming a Stonewall Diversity Champion and new membership with OUTstanding.
PARK PLAZA TOP 10 BRAND OR MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
THIS CATEGORY CELEBRATES THE BRANDS THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY PROMOTED TO OR ARE POPULAR WITH THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY.
Through the brightly coloured and boldly detailed 2017 Pride Collection, Converse said “YES TO ALL”, standing with the belief that whatever your gender, sexual orientation or identity, everyone should feel free to be who they are. The Converse Pride Collection was a limited-edition collection of iconic Chuck Taylor All Stars and Chuck Taylor All Star ’70s – designed to celebrate the LGBTQ community with bright colors and bold details. All proceeds from the Pride Collection went to charities, committed to empowering LGBTQ youth.
Last year M&MS® commemorated Pride by sharing an image celebrating all the colours of the rainbow on their social media channels including the brands’ Instagram account, with the caption: ‘We are all the same. Love what’s on the inside”. The image was one of a set of beautiful images created by a lifestyle photographer of hundreds of M&MS® inscribed with ‘Mr&Mr’ and ‘Mrs&Mrs’ in L.O.V.E and heart shaped plastic boxes.
In 2017 McCain released its ‘We Are Family’ campaign to promote diversity and “real” families, including real-life grandparents, single parents and LGBT families. When gay dads Lee and Mat Samuels-Camozzi, who appeared in the advert with their son Carter, received a torrent of homophobic abuse, McCain’s marketing director Mark Hodge said: “We have received overwhelming support for the campaign, but we are disappointed that there’s a minority of individuals who have been verbally abusive to the real families that feature in our advertising.” He added that the campaign was intended to “shine a light on and celebrate families of all shapes and sizes.
Last year, for the first time in its 64-year history, Playboy featured a transgender ‘Playmate’, a decision that Cooper Hefner, Playboy’s CCO, said was in keeping with its founding mission of celebrating sex and sexuality while embracing changing social attitudes about sex. Cooper Hefner, an LGBT+ rights ally, said he selected Ms. Rau to be a Playmate to resolidify Playboy’s voice as an ally. “This is really a moment for us to take a step back and say that so much of what the brand stood for in the early years is very much still alive in culture.” In 1981, the magazine featured transgender English model, Caroline (Tula) Cossey, in a Playboy pictorial. She returned to magazine in 1991 for a solo pictorial, another first for a transgender woman.
2017 saw Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce using his position to urge
Australians to vote in favour of same-sex marriage. Despite being hit in the face with a pie by a protestor and receiving criticism from Australian politicians who said he should not use the airline’s brand to campaign on the issue, Mr Joyce said: “I believe we have to get behind it and make sure that we have a Yes vote and certainly I will be out there strongly campaigning for a Yes vote… I think it is very important for our employees, customers and our shareholders, and that is why Qantas is a supporter of marriage equality and a supporter of gender equality and a supporter of indigenous rights.”
For the second year in a row, Skittles came out in support of Pride celebrations across the country in 2017 as the rainbow-coloured candy company shed its colours and released a letter addressed to the LGBT+ community, which read: “During Pride only one rainbow matters, so we’ve given up ours to show support.” Wrigley, the company that produces Skittles, said that proceeds from the colourless packs would go to charity.
With over 20 years supporting LGBTQ+ causes, Smirnoff launched the latest chapter in their “We’re Open” campaign in 2017: “Labels are for Bottles”.
Celebrating nightlife’s ability to welcome you with open arms no matter where you identify on the gender spectrum, their advertising featured DJ Honey Dijon, LGBT icon Kiddy Smile, trans dancer Lucy Fizz, performance artists Xnthony and Le Fil.
The campaign also features a partnership with the LGBT Foundation and their Village Angels initiative to help make nightlife a safer space for LGBTQ+ clubbers. The LADbible also helped the cause by spotlighting the stars of the campaign to drive LGBTQ+ acceptance for a wider audience.
Starbucks has long-been an outspoken corporate voice for LGBT+ rights, from their stance on same-sex marriage to creating ‘safe spaces’ for LGBT+ customers, the company has actually faced boycotts by the Malaysian and Indonesian governments over their support of gay rights. Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz has said in the past that he doesn’t want opponents of same-sex marriage buying their coffee or becoming stockholders. Last year, their Christmas advert featured a lesbian couple.
In addition to being the platform of choice for many young LGBT+ people, YouTube has celebrated LGBT Pride Month annually since 2013 with large-scale, site-wide campaigns showcasing its diverse community. Its annual #ProudToBe campaign which shines the spotlight on transgender, agender, gender-queer identities, features the coming out stories of famous YouTubers and celebrates the LGBT+ community all across the globe. The brand came under fire in 2017 for inadvertently blocking LGBT+ content in the optional ‘Restricted Mode’. Responding to the backlash, YouTube said “LGBTQ+ voices … [are] a key part of what YouTube is all about” and that only videos with “mature content” were supposed to be restricted.