Pride campaigns that should take a (rain)bow


At the coop we are always looking for interesting marketing campaigns that inspire us, especially when they relate to current affairs or events of interest. As many of you may know, this weekend was Brighton Pride, which marks the climax of Pride Month.


Brighton Pride is the largest LGBT+ event in the UK and is well known throughout the world. A parade through the streets culminates at a party in Preston Park, headlined this year by Britney Spears (who was rather fantastic according to LRR junior account executive Devon Cairns, who attended this year’s festivities).


46 years after the first march through London streets, the meaning of Pride has changed and nearly 80% of the LGBT+ community now consider it a celebration. As is clear to see, Pride is the best form of PR for the LGBT+ community, and today at the coop we want to round up a few of our favourite pride-inspired marketing campaigns from 2018.


A Candy Colour Clear-out


“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.” Modest and wise words from one of the world’s largest sweet companies, Skittles. Famous for its use of rainbow colours, the sweet giant honoured the LGBT+ community in the UK by stripping the packaging, and the sweets themselves of all colour.


An open letter to the community published across Skittle’s social channels, followed by hundreds of the limited-edition bags being given out at London Pride the following day (and an all-white skittle’s float) made for an extremely impactful campaign and has seen lots of coverage both online and on social media, with thousands posting images of their limited-edition sweets.


Although some may criticise skittles for using LGBT+ significance to leverage the brand, we would say the company did it very tastefully and portrayed a positive message.




From Russia, With Equal Love


Working with Attitude Magazine’s Foundation, Paddy Power has been working throughout Pride season to make football more LGBT+ inclusive. Tackling the issue head on, Paddy Power made a statement during the World Cup earlier this year, which was hosted in Russia. For every goal that the infamously close-minded Russia scored, the company donated £10k to LGBT+ charities, to challenge the prejudice on the pitch, support footballers in the near-impossible task of coming out, and in their words “wind up the Russian homophobes”.


If the statement wasn’t bold enough, Paddy Power got involved in this weekend’s Brighton Pride with their own double-decker bus that was, well, empty. The point that the campaign and the empty bus tried to prove was the lack of openly gay football players, with the phrase “come out and play” on the back of the bus.


Although bold and seemingly a little controversial, we think that in an industry that is so closeted around the topic of homosexuality, a big statement had to be made, and Paddy Power is clearly trying to target a very overlooked demographic during Pride celebrations.





Labels are for Bottles, Not People


Last but not least we turn to… vodka. Smirnoff’s campaign hasn’t just surrounded Pride season; it has been running all year round, and over a series of years. The newest chapter of the “we’re open” initiative brings together leading transgender and non-conforming LGBT+ artists to promote diversity in music and nightlife culture through making social spaces more inclusive.


This theme has been consistent for over 20 years of Smirnoff campaigns – most notably the launch of the Equalise Music Initiative in 2017, which aimed to double the amount of women and non-binary headliners in music.


We’re huge music-lovers at the coop, so this campaign lies especially close to our heats. Smirnoff are also the official partner of Dublin Pride, one of the UK’s biggest celebrations aside from Brighton, and the “Labels are for Bottles, Not People” campaign is a bold statement which many have seen plastered on billboards throughout major cities and the company’s social channels.


Smirnoff does Pride campaigns “right” in our opinion, because their relationship to the LGBT+ community is longstanding, dedicated and authentic!



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