The first of June saw brands change their display and cover photos to a rainbow colour tinted logo. As Pride Month is here, the limelight shone on the LGBTQIA+ community. Pride Month is a movement that brings the LGBTQIA+ community together to celebrate the acceptance of sexual diversity and to spread the message of love. When such a movement happens on a global scale with the entire world watching events unfold, one would expect brands to rush in and jump onto this bandwagon.
Sadly, that’s not the case!
In India, while Pride Month is celebrated with the same fervour as it is worldwide, most of the brands are silent spectators. It’s surprising how the same brands would grab the opportunity if only the social cause was different. That’s reason enough to commend brands who believe in the cause and are brave enough to publicly voice their solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community, even if it is just to add a rainbow tint to their display and cover photos or go so many miles beyond.
Brands and their tryst with the Pride Month
Brands have had many different ways of showing their support to the LGBTQIA+ community. From wanting to genuinely make a difference in society to sparking conversations around the cause to capitalising on the business opportunity that Pride Month provides to showing their love for the cause on social media. Whatever the motivation and irrespective of the size of the contribution, if the brands can push the LGBTQIA+ cause one step forward, I believe that they have made a positive impact.
Brands that make a difference in the society
A BCG global report in 2019 showed that corporate brands like Mahindra and Mahindra, Reliance, Tata Steel, Infosys, Wipro, Godrej, Apollo Tyres etc. have adopted a no discriminative inclusion policy. They vociferously promote inclusion and diversity in a big way, both internally at the workplace and externally to advocate a more inclusive society. Some of the measures they have taken include sensitising their employees about the ‘no discrimination’ policy, providing a safe and welcoming work environment for the LGBTQIA+ community and offering same-sex partner benefits, as is the case in Tata Steel. What stands out is the fact that these brands are making a meaningful difference in the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Brands that sparked conversations
Some brands have sparked conversations around the marginalised community, but are far and few in number. They have led the change with their campaigns, by opening up discussions about the cause, though not necessarily during Pride Month.
Here are some path-breaking campaigns which not just acknowledged the existence of the community but also showed that they accepted them for who they are as individuals.
Fastrack – ‘Come out of the closet’ campaign
Anouk, a Myntra brand’s ‘The Visit’ campaign
Vicks ‘A touch of care’ campaign
Bhima Jewellery’s latest ‘Pure as Love’ campaign:
Brands that capitalised on the business opportunity
Brands such as Fossil, Adidas, Reebok, Nike, Puma, Apple watches, MAC Cosmetics have launched a new Pride collection to celebrate the spirit of love and equality. A portion of the sales proceeds from this collection is donated to foundations whose beneficiaries are the LGBTQIA+ community.
It also gave an opportunity to individuals to show their support to the community by buying Pride merchandise.
Brands that showed love online
And then, there are brands that talk about Pride Month only in the online space. They have put up pride posts on their social media pages and have included the rainbow flag in their logos.
Can the brands do more for the LGBTQIA+ community?
Of course, yes!
Some brands go all out, have a bold conversation with the society about the cause and make a difference, others are subtle and maintain a low key about their support for the cause.
While the big and bold approach to the cause is the most desirable state to be in, there is no belittling any small effort that brands put in, even if it is just a social media post. Every post, every piece of communication, helps reach a larger set of people that increases awareness for the cause. Every brand that is actively or passively associated with the cause plays a major role in bringing the cause closer to its goal.
That’s why every display and cover photo with rainbow colour matters. Every social media post matters. Every conversation around the LGBTQIA+ community matters!
Every brand voice, big and small matters!