Innovative expressions of Pride

As June is Pride month, we decided to explore campaigns supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.

da Mark Tungate , Adforum

This year it’s 55 years since the Stonewall Riots, provoked by a police raid on a gay bar in Greenwich Village, which sparked furious protests and eventually gave rise to the Pride movement. Back then, it was hard to imagine the joyous celebration Pride has become in many cities around the world.

Equally hard to imagine the advertising industry openly embracing the gay community. But today agencies and brands regularly weigh in to lend their support. Let’s start with a touching example from Adam&EveDDB, which follows a gay couple over many years of their relationship. The client is The National Lottery. Not so long ago, it was unthinkable a state-franchised brand would run such an ad on mainstream TV.

Everybody loves a love story, of course, including McDonald’s. Even better when it’s on a skateboard.

In the Netherlands, Nike shines a light on the “Joy Run Collective”, a group moving sport beyond stereotypes.

Talking of sport, the Olympic Games will take place in Paris this summer (as if you didn’t know), but let’s flash back to the Gay Games in Hong Kong in 2023. This film from Havas shows how a rather beautiful lion was born.

The word “closet” is strongly associated with the gay community – and a UN agency that supports inclusion, along the with agency HOY in Argentina, felt that it should be torn apart. So it turned closets into an art installation.

Staying in Latin America, here’s a film from The Gay Group of Bahia and the agency Propeg in Brazil. Stay tuned for the terrific twist.

Also from Brazil, this case study identifies a problem: AI has a habit of mis-gendering trans people. So Publicis Brazil, in collaboration with the NGO Casarão, launched the “I Exist” project, ensuring that AI recognizes and respects the gender with which transgender individuals identify.

In Portugal, a trans fashion designer held a runway show that deliberately failed to mention its underlying message – which is that inclusion should be so natural that everyone accepts it.

Finally, in a campaign that launched earlier this year, French beauty retailer Sephora and BETC Etoile Rouge celebrate diversity and unity by holding up a mirror to many different forms of beauty. Happy Pride Month.