Corporate Pride

Each year more and more corporate brands show their support of the LGBTQ+ community and interest in the segment as a popular consumer group still on the rise. While some brands are newcomers, some go way back to a time when the pink dollar was still a “currency” in the making and only few companies had the courage to invest in the LGBTQ+ segment.

The Swedish spirit brand, Absolut, was one of the very first commercial brands to target the LGBTQ+ community back in 1981 by placing ads in the American magazines The Advocate and After Dark. Many people are familiar with the popular LGBTQ+ targeted campaigns pushed by Absolut throughout time such as Absolut Pride (1996), Absolut OUT (2003), Absolut First (2004), Absolut Colors (2008), Absolut No Label (2009), Absolut OUTrageous (2011) and Absolut Colours (2015).
Throughout time Absolut has been a proud sponsor of several LGBTQ+ events including numerous prides, GLAAD Media Awards and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

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The Kissing Sailors printed ad showing real-life couple Bob and Rod Jackson-Paris kissing on a pier back in 1994 is considered one of the most recognizable gay-themed advertisement campaigns in history.
The photo was shot by Andy Warhol protégé David Lachapelle.
Diesel has shown their interest in the LGBTQ+ segment for years and their most recent campaign film from 2017 Make Love not Walls was directed by the very same David Lachapelle who shot the Kissing Sailors in 1994.

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Photo by David Lachapelle

Prior to the Rugby Union World Cup coming to France in 2007 the French regional tourism committee, Paris Ile-de-France, made a campaign to promote Paris as a place where rugby and love come together. The controversial print campaign featured rugby union players kissing passionately on the field with the catch line: Enjoy rugby in the capital of love.
The campaign was created by the agency BDDP & Fils, Paris.

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2009 BEN & JERRY’S
One of the world’s most renowned ice cream brands, Ben & Jerry’s, has been working internally to improve the working conditions for employees since 1989 when they became one of the first companies in the US to offer domestic partner benefits to its employees.
In 2009 they began their external campaigns to bring awareness to equal rights for LGBTQ+ people by renaming their ice cream flavour Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby as a celebration of the gay marriage bill passed in Vermont, USA. In 2012 Ben & Jerry’s showed their support of same-sex marriage legislation in England and Wales by renaming Oh! My! Apple Pie! to Apple-y Ever After and in 2013 they renamed flavours to Engagemint Party and I Dough I Dough to show their support of same sex marriage in Ireland and Australia. In 2017 they banned serving two scoops of the same flavour in its 26 Australian stores to push for marriage equality in Australia.

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Skittles tagline Taste the Rainbow and the candy’s burst of colors are reasons enough to use the rainbow as a trademark in marketing campaigns. However, in 2016 and 2017 the Skittles brand gave up it’s colors for London Pride producing an all white edition of the Skittles candy.
In 2016 Skittles sent an open letter to London Pride: “So this is kind of awkward, but we’re just gonna go ahead and address the rainbow-colored elephant in the room. You have the rainbow … we have the rainbow … and usually that’s just hunky-dory. But this Pride, only one rainbow deserves to be the centre of attention—yours. And we’re not going to be the ones to steal your rainbow thunder, no siree. That’s why this weekend, we’re giving up our rainbow. But don’t worry, we’ll still be there to celebrate every colourful minute with you, we’ll just be completely starkers while we do it. Have a great day, Pride. From Skittles”.


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