Our favourite marketing campaigns of Pride Month 2021

Jess Hodgson
By Jess HodgsonPR & Social Media Executive
5 minutes to read

In June 1969, the Stonewall riots signalled a turning point in LGBTQ+ history, where change first began as the faces of the uprising made way for the Gay Liberation Movement. In commemoration of this momentous event, June has become synonymous with Pride, observed by LGBTQ+ folk across the globe.

Over the years, we have seen some brilliant examples of Pride campaigns from brands, as well as a couple that missed the mark. When executed well, Pride marketing can go a long way, reaching demographics who have historically been underrepresented and misunderstood. 

We’re all about celebrating really great marketing, so we have collated and rated our favourite campaigns of Pride Month 2021 which demonstrate meaningful support and allyship to the LGBTQ+ community.

5. Lego

Ahead of June, LEGO announced that it would launch its first ever LGBTQ+ set to mark Pride Month. The buildable display model is inspired by the iconic rainbow flag and features 11 figures each representing the diverse nature of the community.

Created by Matthew Ashton, Vice President of Design at the LEGO Group, the ‘Everyone is Awesome’ set reflects the brand’s belief that LEGO is for everyone regardless of race, gender, or sexuality.

Part of the campaign recognises inclusivity within the workplace, featuring interviews with LGBTQ+ employees at LEGO. The brand also partnered with AFOL (Adult Fans of Lego) to create builds that demonstrate what pride means to them. 

https://www.lego.com/en-gb/page/everyone-is-awesome

Rating: 3/5 rainbows 🌈

4. The Sims

The Sims has always been an incredibly diverse and inclusive game, with the ability to create characters that defy stereotypes.

Its ‘Pride Makes The Sims!’ campaign explores the experiences of LGBTQ+ folk worldwide who find community and solace in the life simulation video game. As one ‘Simmer’ says: “The Sims really do[es] normalise that love is love and doesn’t have to be restricted by genders or identities.”

The Sims has naturally over time fostered an accepting and loving community of gamers, many of whom identify as queer. This wonderful campaign allowed members of this group to share their stories in a non-exploitative way.

https://www.ea.com/games/the-sims/the-sims-4/news/sims-pride-month-2021?setLocale=en-us

Rating: 3.5/5 rainbows 🌈

3. Calvin Klein

Fashion house Calvin Klein launched a collection of items designed for self-expression, featuring classic styles reimagined for Pride. Alongside this, the brand shared its ‘Moments of Pride’ delivered by queer artists and influencers at the forefront of the content. 

Giving a voice to LGBTQ+ individuals, rather than speaking on their behalf, is one of the most important things any brand can do. Not only did Calvin Klein give a platform to queer creators, its allyship extends beyond the month of June through global partnerships with organisations supporting LGBTQ+ advocacy, equity and safety.

https://www.calvinklein.co.uk/pride

Rating: 4/5 rainbows 🌈

2. Indeed

Job site Indeed amassed well-deserved praise for its #EmpathyAtWork campaign, providing resources about marginalised groups in the workplace for both employers and job seekers.

Covering everything from how to land a job at an inclusive workplace, to finding companies with strong happiness scores, the takeaway message is that understanding and empathy within organisations should be more prevalent.

The campaign was supported by an advert titled ‘A New Beginning’ which features a transgender person being asked their pronouns at a job interview.

Indeed’s campaign is valuable as it is not performative. Instead, it provides key information for navigating the world of work as an LGBTQ+ individual.

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/empathy-at-work?from=empathyatwork

Rating: 4.5/5 rainbows 🌈

1. YouTube

On 25 June, YouTube hosted a five-hour long virtual Pride event featuring a star-studded line-up of YouTube personalities, pop stars and influencers in the effort to raise awareness and money for LGBTQ+ charities. 

The livestream featured special guest appearances from the likes of Olly Alexander, Elton John, Trixie Mattell and Demi Lovato. At the same time, YouTube launched its #GiveWithPride campaign with the goal of raising $250,000 for The Trevor Project in the U.S. and akt in the U.K. The video platform also pledged to match donations up to $250,000.

Encouraging donations to incredible charities, as well as showcasing LGBTQ+ talent, makes this campaign a big win in our eyes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86A_QrYhvAw

Rating: 5/5 rainbows 🌈

Pride Month may be over, but the support shouldn’t end

In summary, Pride campaigns this year have been thoughtful and well-delivered, giving voice to LGBTQ+ folk as well as opening up conversations about our history and identities. There is always the odd campaign that errs on the side of exploitation - the same can be said for a lot of ‘rainbow capitalism’ - but as a queer person it’s wonderful to see LGBTQ+ stories being told in the mainstream. It’s more wonderful to see brands keep this momentum up year-round, as although Pride month is significant, long-term allyship is even more so.

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