BRANDS LOVING PRIDE 🏳️‍🌈

 

This Saturday and Sunday the MOST FANTASTIC of celebrations comes to Bristol with Pride weekend. Not only is it a whole lot of fun and fabulosity, Pride holds huge historical and political significance. Of course, we don’t need to remind people that Pride is a global movement fighting for the equal rights of LGBTQ+ people all over the world, with 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of the start of the fight for gay rights, with the Stonewall protests in New York.

 

We’ve been chatting in the office and debating whether big brands cashing in on Pride Month is diluting that massively important message.

 

From rainbow bunting at our local Sainsbury’s, LGBT sandwiches in M&S (SOME OF US WERE VERY SHOCKED TO DISCOVER WE WERE IN FACT A LETTUCE AND OMG THE VEGAN FOUND OUT SHE’S A BACON 🥓) to UGG’s ‘Fluff yeah’ pride slippers (no. seriously. what?), it seems anyone who is anyone has produced a rainbow branded product to ‘celebrate’ 🏳️‍🌈this year.

 

 

Pride Month for us at Wonderland means A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN THAT. Our agency is founded with the principles of love and inclusivity, so we think it’s crucial we aren’t losing sight of what we are fighting for.

 

In fact, a little quick-fire ‘what does pride mean to you?’ in the office produced these thoughts from the Wonderfam:

 

“It means my ten year old grows up in a world where love and relationships are about people not gender”

 

As someone that grew up in a tiny town with very traditional views, I always struggled (even when I came out) to express who I was. To be completely honest, I still do. However the first time I went to Pride in London, it was the very first time I felt I could hold hands with my boyfriend and be safe. It also made me realise what a huge, supportive family we have”

 

“Remembering everyone who fought and stood up to allow me to have the privileges that I have today”

 

“FREEDOM”

 

“A show of solidarity and strength, and to tell the haters WE ARE HERE”

 

“A chance for me to sit back and look at the beauty of my LGBTQ+ family, past and present and to remember how far we have come and how far we have to go”

 

*(holds back actual tears)*

 

Basically, it ain’t about rainbow sandwiches and glitter. But do they have a place?

  

Let’s get real here, there are huge financial benefits to large companies getting involved in Pride, especially when it comes to product design and marketing; it’s no secret and in its simplest form, they using Pride as a platform to sell more stuff. Just check out Listerine’s attempt to Pride-ify themselves to see what we mean:

 

 

Visibility for Pride and the LGBTQ+ community is SUPER POSITIVE and regardless of whether or not the presence of Pride products and rainbow highstreets is done with the intention of making more dollar, we’ve found it interesting to see the message up and down our high-streets and in our favourite retailers. It’s great to see the message of Pride in places we wouldn’t normally see it, and (perhaps) to an audience who wouldn’t normally see it. 

 

We hope these visual cues will make people be more curious, to try and better understand the fight for equality, to be better people. We also encourage everyone to look beyond the merchandise and try to understand what it means to be a good ally. 

 

Here are some top tips for brands thinking about getting involved in Pride from Wonderland’s LGBTQ+ community:

 

  • Ensure you have policies in place that truly promote equality and diversity. It’s 2019 and there is no excuse not to have them
  • Seek out opportunities to support the LGBTQ+ community – whether it’s a Pride specific product and service or whether it’s reaching out to a colleague and recognising if and when people need support

 

If you guys need some inspo look at how to execute a brilliant Pride campaign, take a look at this years Hunter Boots and Skittles campaign in 2016 which we went all 😍for.

A final sobering thought: many of these businesses that claim to be supporting Pride Month are still trading in countries where homosexuality is still illegal. Have we got a long way to go? Absolutely.

 

If you are celebrating Pride in Bristol this weekend have a bloody wicked one.