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Pride Roundup 2021: 3 Brands That Nailed Their #Pride Campaigns

What’s in this article:

  • Examples of brands to learn from to improve your CRM marketing campaigns for next year’s Pride month

Another Pride month has come and gone, which means most brands have changed their marketing materials back from the rainbow themes that adorned social media and websites throughout June 2021. While it’s now common for companies to embrace LGBTQIA+ pride, some still go above and beyond to make an impact that resonates long after the last day of June. We’ve seen some pride campaigns go painfully wrong, but thankfully, these brands got it right. Marketers, take note — Pride 2022 is just 11 months away.

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JOANN makes crafting more inclusive

A fabric and crafting brand might not seem like the most obvious choice for a Pride trendsetter, but JOANN went above and beyond in 2021. First, the hobby shop unveiled its Pride collection, which is simply bursting with rainbows, pronouns, and all the fabrics and materials one might need to show their pride. But JOANN didn’t stop there — the company also donated $25,000 to GLSEN, a non-profit whose mission is to create a safe school environment for LGBTQIA+ youth.

JOANN’s pride contributions are especially meaningful because not every crafting company has been so inclusive. One of the company’s biggest competitors, Hobby Lobby, has repeatedly come under fire for its homophobic, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic views. Meanwhile, JOANN is sending a message to its LGBTQIA+ clientele — and everyone else, for that matter — that they’re welcome in their stores and in the crafting space.

Everyone is awesome at LEGO

The LEGO brand is best known for its DIY brick-building kits featuring some of the most memorable moments from pop culture, history, and your own imagination. In late May, LEGO revealed its “first product that really celebrates diversity in our fanbase”: the “Everyone is Awesome” set, a 346-piece tribute to the LGBTQIA+ community.

LEGO VP of Design Matthew Ashton said he “wanted to create a model that symbolizes inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love.” The set incorporates colors from several Pride flag designs, including those meant to celebrate trans pride and people of color within the LGBTQIA+ community. And it’s perfectly shelf-sized, meaning that those who build it can display their pride all year long. It’s a bold move from one of the biggest toy companies in the world, though it’s a bit surprising that it took this long for the 70-year-old brand to make this move.

Xbox puts LGBTQIA+ creators in the spotlight

Traditionally, video games haven’t been the most inclusive space, unless you count straight white men with different variations of muscular builds and shooty weapons as diverse. However, huge strides have been taken in recent years, with game developers and publishers adopting diverse hiring practices and telling different kinds of stories that highlight marginalized groups. To see how far the industry has come, one only needs to take a look at Xbox’s 2021 Pride marketing efforts.

As one of the biggest brands in gaming, Xbox needs to lead by example, and the console and games manufacturer certainly did that. For the month of June, the Xbox logo and marketing materials were adorned by different variations of Pride flags, but that was just the beginning. Xbox also launched a line of Pride gear both in its shop and virtually. Perhaps most importantly, the company highlighted “games, movies, and TV selected by LGBTQIA+ communities at Microsoft that bring focus to LGBTQIA+ creators, experiences, and protagonists,” making it easy for players to find these works from the Xbox dashboard. Xbox capped off the campaign with a $150,000 donation to various LGBTQIA+ charities like The Trevor Project and Transgender Law Center.

With each passing year, more and more brands are stepping up their marketing game during Pride and doing their part to make the world a more inclusive place. Such initiatives create happier existing customers who fuel the viral loop and therefore help in acquiring new ones. This ultimately helps companies grow through their existing customers.

With major companies like Xbox, LEGO, and JOANN setting the stage in 2021, we’ll hopefully see even more extensive and elaborate Pride celebrations in the years to come.

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