29
Jun
Beth Davies

Pride 2021: Tokenistic campaigns just won’t fly anymore

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June is Pride Month, a time for celebrating the diverse accomplishments, identities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. With 2020 seeing the queer community face a disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it is perhaps more important than ever for us to show our support and allyship.

Over the years, Pride has become an opportunity for brands to express their support for equal rights and representation, investing heavily in sponsorships, ads, and pride-themed products. But we know consumers are turning a critical eye to the companies they buy from, and brands need to go further than just wrapping merchandise up in rainbow packaging and calling it a day.

So-called ‘rainbow washing’ or ‘pink washing’ is too often the route that organisations take, and many major brands haven’t maintained a consistent enough relationship with LGBTQ+ communities to last Pride Month without some scrutiny. To be honest, it can be a difficult to hold back the cynicism, when even Pret rebrands as ‘Pride a Manger’.

Some 2021 Pride campaigns have certainly struck the wrong chord. Take Bud Light, which brought out an advert replacing the letters in the acronym LGBTQ with ‘Let’s Grab Beers Tonight, Queens’. An ad that erases identities in favour of selling beer, surely had to be designed without any queer people in the room. Also attracting criticism is Skittles, for its attempt at meaningful action which consisted of donating a portion of product proceeds to the media advocacy group, GLAAD. The problem? Skittles limited donations to less than 0.03% of sales during Pride month. 2020 brought with it an increased focus on diversity and inclusion, and tokenistic marketing just won’t fly anymore.

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13
Jul
Beth Davies

Appealing to Gen Z – what makes a strong brand in 2020?

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For a long time, the attention of brands and communications professionals has been directed towards understanding millennials. This exciting generation was seen to be shaping the future of digital and ushering in a new age of Airbnb-ing and Uber-ing. But just as people started getting their heads around what it meant to be a millennial, and how to reach them, millennials grew up.

Now in their late-20s and 30s, millennials’ tastes, habits and values are changing, and for many brands, a key market is now a younger and perhaps trickier audience – my generation – Gen Z.

Read more “Appealing to Gen Z – what makes a strong brand in 2020?”