Earlier this year when I reported some of the upcoming 2015 trends in content marketing I would have never imagined that one of the most popular trends would come from a Supreme Court decision. That decision in June 2015 was the freedom to marry which gave the LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and other sexual minority) community equal rights to marry. Although this decision has been a controversial issue, many big brands have decided to take a stance, and most of them have been in support. Whether this type of marketing will yield higher or lower profits is still unknown. Some say that pro-LGBT+ marketing is just good target marketing, while many others disagree. However, Google published an article about pro-LGBT+ advertising and found that, “47% of Millennials are more likely to support a brand after seeing an equality-themed ad”. Google stated that advertising including, pride, equality, and diversity are having a widespread impact including higher rates of Google searches for those companies. Here are some examples of big brands using pro-LGBT+ related themes.
Budweiser, the alcoholic beverage distributor, also long known for their patriotic advertising, jumped on the bandwagon after the June decision. The company posted this rainbow beer bottle with the message “This Bud’s for you”, and #Lovewins on their social media pages. The post had 2,779 likes and 404 comments on Instagram, 13,316 likes, 1,297 comments and 3,654 shares on Facebook, and 538 retweets and 606 favorites on Twitter. The comments on the posts were both negative and positive ranging from, “way to go Budweiser nice to see the support” to “won’t be buying Budweiser anymore.” Regardless of the responses, it’s clear that many people saw and interacted with the post, which is a win for Budweiser.
Target who is ranked number 36 in the Fortune 500 started a whole line of #takepride wear. The collection includes t-shirts, hats, sunglasses, phone accessories and much more. Most items feature rainbows and love or pride quotes. Target also wrote a press release to tell their consumers what their stance was on the decision. The company created the Target’s Pride Manifesto-“We’re not born with pride, we take pride.” Target has aired commercials featuring gay couples and has been pro-LGBT+ in ads, even before the decision was made in June.
Even Apple is celebrating diversity. On their website they state, “We honor individuality, human dignity and equality. We want people to be themselves.” The webpage included pride quotes and photos with rainbows, but Apple decided to include all types of diversity including age, race and gender in their official statement. Apple believes that “inclusion inspires innovation.” They used this mantra to highlight how diversity is beneficial to the creation of their products, and included a video of their employees from various backgrounds. As far as social media, Apple does not partake in any official pages and we have yet to see any commercials regarding pro-LGBT+, but they definitely have taken a stance on the issue and aren’t afraid to say it.
These are just a few big brands that are creating pro-LGBT+ content marketing. There are a lot more companies that are also joining in on the inclusion and diversity themed advertising and marketing. Here are 10 more examples you may have seen recently. What do you think; will your company join in on this marketing trend?
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Elizabeth Muckensturm—Communications and Media Professor