You may have noticed a splattering of rainbow colours in the high street, from window displays of fashion brands, to packaging from fast food outlets and to beer pumps in bars.
Pride month was last month, brands were extremely keen to show their support and get involved. However, their actions have been described by some consumers as ‘jumping on the Pride bandwagon’.
For many, just introducing a rainbow theme for a month or partnering with Pride as an official beer is not enough. This can be seen as going against the whole ethos of Pride, with Millennial and Gen Z generations looking to seek out brands that care more long-term.
Origins of Pride
The 1950s and 1960s in the United States it was a highly regressive social and legal period for LGBT citizens. At this time LGBT people did not receive basic civil rights protections, this lead to organisations such as Daughters of Bilitis and the Mattachine Society carrying out pickets called Annual Reminders to inform as well as remind other American citizens of how unfairly they were being treated.
What Pride Month really stands for
In 1969, after years of being harassed and targeted LGBT, patrons the Stonewall Inn battled back against the police. This resulted in four nights of rioting. Before this watershed moment, gay leaders had predominately promoted silent vigils and polite pickets which raised little awareness of their plight.
In 1970, a year later to commemorate those you fought for their rights at the Stonewall the first Pride march took place. Marchers were encouraged to march loudly and without a dress code for those who fought for their rights. Pride marches now take place all over the world, with London Pride being held last weekend and the UK’s largest Pride being held in Brighton, over the first weekend in August next month.
The Commercialization of Pride
Pride marches across the world have grown to some huge sizes, Sao Paulo’s attracts 3 million people and London Pride has around a quarter of a million supporters. With this, Pride marches have become more and more commercial with brands using large floats to promote themselves at marches for example.
It would seem some large high street brands have also taken this opportunity to join in for one month, however there are some organizations who have been more authentic by promoting inclusivity all year round. Smirnoff have a long running campaign called ‘We’re Open’ which champions diversity and aims for societal change. Back in November, Smirnoff partnered up with the LGBT Foundation to help Britain’s nightlife become more open minded about gender. Confectionary ice giant Ben & Jerry have long been running equality campaigns for decades globally, including ‘Equality for all is our Pride and joy’.
This commercialization of Pride is a real positive as it brings about more acceptance and awareness. These were the two main points that were fought for all that time ago with Stonewall.
What does your brand say about you? And how can your brand be used in a positive way to help bring about change? Get in contact with us here at Regency today to take a more in-depth look at your brand and also look at some content creation.