In alphabetical order
This category celebrates the brands that have successfully promoted to or are popular with the LGBT+ community.
Absolut has been supporting the LGBT+ community since 1981, when, even as a relatively unknown brand, they ran adverts in LGBT+ magazines. Since then, their consistent support over the years has seen them create numerous LGBT+ based adverts, including the first-ever rainbow-coloured spirits bottle, amongst various other activations. In 2018, the brand wrapped two London buses in a rainbow print and allowed passengers to donate to Stonewall by tapping their smartphones on the back of the seats. A spokesperson for Absolut said: “For 35 years, Absolut has stood with the LGBTQ community and we are proud to support the vital work Stonewall do to promote equality.”
Amazon came out for LGBT+ in 2018 with an Ask Alexa campaign with Stonewall. The skill sees users now able to ask Alexa questions about LGBT+ issues to educate and point them in the direction of Stonewall resources. Information available includes advice on how you can be an active ally to LGBT people by listening and reporting abuse, suggestions on ways to raise funds for Stonewall, and Alexa will even answer questions about her own sexuality – but only if you ask her nicely. The move comes as no surprise, with Amazon as a long-time supporter of LGBT+ rights. “Acceptance without exception is still a long way off. Which is why Alexa had to speak up. And why you should too.”
BOOHOO: PRIDE COLLECTION
To celebrate Pride in 2018, online retailer boohoo launched their ‘Love is Love’ collection, a range of genderless clothing designed to empower, embrace, support and celebrate love in all of its forms. The collection used LGBT+ associated colours from the rainbow flag, alongside less well-known colours like purple, pink, blue and grey. Boohoo donated 10% of all profits to be divided between Terrence Higgins Trust and The Rainbow Fund. Samir Kamani, CEO, boohooMAN.com said: “both boohoo brands wanted to come together to create a collection that was subtle yet bold. A collection that was for everyone.”
CALVIN KLEIN: WEAR YOURS WITH PRIDE
Calvin Klein has been consistently ranked amongst the most LGBT+-friendly brands over the years. In 2018, the company’s Pride campaign featured rainbow-coloured CK logos on t-shirts and other apparel to support the charity, Human Rights Campaign. The company has previously come under fire in Russia, for their depiction of same-sex couples in an advertising campaign, which authorities said broke its ‘gay propaganda’ laws.
H&M: PRIDE COLLECTION
In 2018 H&M launched their first-ever Pride collection in collaboration with Out Magazine, with 10% of sales proceeds donated to the United Nations Human Rights Office Free and Equalcampaign. The retail giant sold its Pride apparel in stores across the world. Commenting on the collection, Andreas Lowenstam, H&M’s head of menswear design said “H&M believes in everybody’s right to love who they want. We hope people can use H&M’s Pride collection to celebrate their belief in equal love.”
LEVI’S: BE PROUD. BE BOLD. BE YOURSELF
Levi Strauss & Co. has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community and promoting equality and were one of the first companies that donated to HIV/AIDS causes back in 1982. LS&Co. was the first Fortune 500 company to offer full medical benefits to the unmarried partners of its employees, and to file a brief with the US Supreme Court supporting same-sex marriage. 100% of the net proceeds of Levi’s® 2018 Pride collection were donated to the Harvey Milk Foundation and the Stonewall Community Foundation. In 2019, 100% of net proceeds of Levi’s Pride Collection will go to OutRight Action International.
This year Maltesers, the chocolate giant owned by Mars released a 30 second television advert aiming to tackle the inequality of gender representation and intersectionality in advertising. Maltesers partnered with Stonewall to create the advert, which sees a group of friends chatting about dating, with a main character who happens to be a lesbian. Michele Oliver, the vice-president of marketing for Mars UK said she hopes people will see from the advertising campaign that “we’ve got more in common than we have different. Whatever our backgrounds, we’re all struggling with the same things, whether that’s balancing work and home life, dating or getting older.”
RIVER ISLAND: #LABELSAREFORCLOTHES
For its 2018 advertising campaign, River Island chose to raise awareness of “the outdated and irrelevant labels people are given” with an inclusive message that “labels are for clothes”. Joining forces with leading international anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label, River Island gave £3 from every sale to help provide emotional and physical support to those impacted by bullying. Of the 12 models featured in the campaign, one third were members of the LGBT+ community, with couple Charlie and Bella featured next to a ‘do not separate’ slogan, while trans campaigner, Stav Strashko, was featured next to ‘100 per cent woman’ slogan.
SPOTIFY: PRIDE STORIES
The Swedish music streaming service has long advocated the LGBT+ community with social media campaigns, and has continually maintained playlists like ‘Out Now’ and ‘Transcend’, which amplify LGBTQ+ artists globally. In 2017, Spotify commissioned a series of short, 2-minute animations called Pride Stories for their platform to commemorate Pride Month, highlighting some of the most important milestones in the LGBTQ movement from the Reagan Era to Gavin Grimm, which were narrated by LGBT+ stars like Troye Sivan. This year, Spotify added a rainbow coloured volume bar to their desktop app for the month of Pride, which included Pride-themed messages “Loud and Proud” and “Live At Full Volume.”
VOLVO: DRIVE WITH PRIDE
This year, the Swedish car maker celebrated the launch of their new V60 model during Pride month and created an inclusive campaign at Westfield Shopping Centre in London. Taking over the car park, Volvo redesigned the typical parking icons of mother and child, or a child with a mother and father, to show LGBT+ parent families, as well as single parents and children being raised by grandparents or other relatives, to draw attention to the fact that 65% of UK families are non-traditional, and encouraged people to be more aware of different kinds of families.