It’s that time of year again — Pride month! Every June, members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies celebrate the queer community and all the ways that it positively impacts the world.
From the massive annual parade in São Paulo to the famous NYC Pride March, there are many ways that Pride is celebrated by people all over the globe. And understandably, many brands want to celebrate Pride, as well.
From Absolut Vodka’s famous rainbow bottle to Levi’s long-standing support of the LGBTQIA+ community, there are plenty of brands that have figured out how to celebrate Pride successfully and respectfully.
But what about this year? Which brands have aced their Pride campaigns in 2022? Let’s take a look.
What Is A Pride Month Brand Campaign?
Source: RTL News
To make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s quickly define what a Pride Month brand campaign is. In essence, it’s a brand and/or marketing campaign that a company runs to show its support for the LGBTQIA+ community during the month of June.
Whether a brand chooses to create a special rainbow-colored product, donate money to an LGBTQIA+ charity, or just voice their support publicly for the queer community’s rights — Pride campaigns allow brands to show consumers where their values lie.
However, keep in mind that this is never a reason to “rainbow-wash” your brand. Not sure what “rainbow-washing” is? We would recommend taking a short detour to read our article on it. We’ll just wait here…
Okay, back and all caught up on what “rainbow-washing” is and why it's a very bad idea? Good. Now, let’s take a look at three successful Pride campaigns in 2022.
3 Successful Pride Brand Campaigns in 2022
Planning and executing a high-quality Pride campaign requires brands to clearly state their support for LGBTQIA+ community members. It’s about more than adding a rainbow hue to your logo — it requires time, effort, and research.
So, let’s discuss three brands that have rolled out effective Pride campaigns this year.
1. Saks Off 5th
The less expensive sister brand to luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue (which is also celebrating Pride well this year), Saks Off 5th has taken a great approach to Pride 2022.
In partnership with The Phluid Phoundation, “a nonprofit that supports trans-led organizations and homeless queer youth at a grassroots and global level”, Saks Off 5th is launching “a gender-neutral capsule” this month to celebrate queer culture.
Source: Saks Off 5th
The collection, which “reinvents the rainbow and celebrates the freedom of universal love and self-expression” includes everything from scarves to hats to bags to kimonos. The collection also highlights the work of LGBTQIA+ designers, which adds to the campaign’s effectiveness.
Impressively, 100% of the net proceeds from sales will go to The Phulid Project — up to $100,000. In the campaign’s video promo, the LGBTQIA+ community is honored through dance — with the video “spotlighting dancers of various skill sets, like Honey Balencaiga, West Dakota, Luis “Dosu” Carrera, Michelle Dorrance, Mila Jam, Courtney Taylor Key, Adriana Pierce and Harper Watters.”
Source: Saks Off 5th
Why It Works: Let’s be clear — not every brand can pull off a Pride capsule collection. To make it a success, a brand needs to be well-known enough that its collection is likely to sell and actually make a profit which can be donated to LGBTQIA+ organizations.
However, as a well-known and successful brand, Saks Off 5th has the clout to pull this capsule collection off — and will likely be able to donate a large sum of money to The Phulid Phoundation.
Another reason this campaign works? It spotlights the voices and faces of real members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Instead of slapping a rainbow on a shirt and calling it a day, Saks Off 5th collaborated with queer designers to create the merchandise and queer artists to create the promo video.
This campaign celebrates authentic queer voices, which makes it stand out among the countless other Pride campaigns.
Finally, Saks Off 5th knows that supporting the LGBTQIA+ community isn’t restricted to once a year in June. In the words of Saks Off 5th’s President, Rob Brooks:
“Pride centers on the importance of acceptance and authenticity, which is the same mindset we encourage our Associates to bring to work and create in our stores everyday. Our partnership with The Phluid Project is an opportunity for us to support our communities and the customers who support us on a daily basis.”
Clearly, Saks Off 5th understands that its commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community needs to continue year-round, and by fostering an inclusive, accepting environment, it can create a safe space for all.
This year, watch and accessory brand Fossil is celebrating Pride with a multi-pronged approach. First, the brand has released a limited-edition capsule collection — which features Pride-themed watch faces, straps, charms, bracelets, purses, rings, and more.
Second, 100% of the proceeds will go directly to The Trevor Project, which is “the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people.”
Fossil has pledged a minimum donation of $100,000 — meaning even if their collection doesn’t sell out or make huge profits, the brand will still ensure that The Trevor Project receives the full donation amount.
Third, Fossil has launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #TakeAMinute, where the brand’s social profiles will serve as a platform to magnify the voices of members of the LGBTQIA+ community to its 1.2 million followers.
Why It Works: Again, Fossil is a large brand with a loyal customer base — meaning it has the brand recognition to likely pull off a limited-edition capsule collection.
Furthermore, Fossil has agreed to honor the $100,000 minimum donation no matter what — which shows consumers that the brand’s commitment to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community is real.
Secondly, Fossil is going out of its way to use its influence and power to spotlight authentic LGBTQIA+ voices. By allowing LGBTQIA+ creators to use its social media platform to have their voices heard, Fossil is making a clear statement: this is a place where everyone is welcome.
Finally, by partnering with a well-respected organization like The Trevor Project, Fossil is making its values known to consumers everywhere. This alignment with the LGBTQIA+ community proves Fossil to be an ally — committed to more than just a month-long campaign.
3. Black Baccara
Gay- and women-owned indie perfume house Black Baccara knows that supporting the queer community is a year-round commitment. Founded by artist Kalliope Amorphous in 2010, Black Baccara creates herbal, gender-free fragrances for all.
To celebrate Pride 2022, the brand has released a limited edition perfume oil, called Love is Love — which is described as a “unique unisex blend” that “opens with sugared lavender that quickly gives way to dollops of honey swirled with earthy light patchouli.” Delightful.
Not only is Black Baccara celebrating Pride with its special fragrance, but it’s also stated that 50% of the proceeds will “support the work being done by New Alternatives for LGBTQ+ homeless youth.”
Source: Black Baccara
The brand’s partner for this campaign, New Alternatives, is an organization “dedicated to reducing homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth and young adults in New York City by addressing areas critical to their development and well-being.”
Why It Works: As a brand that’s quite clearly dedicated to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community year-round, Black Baccara’s artisanal Love is Love perfume is just another expression of the brand’s love for the queer community.
Furthermore, by agreeing to donate half of the proceed to New Alternatives, consumers see that this campaign is not a money grab — but a way for Black Baccara to support and give back to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Finally, as a brand that’s owned by an openly gay woman, Black Baccara’s Pride 2022 campaign rings with authenticity. In fact, the brand’s website features the following statement:
“Black Baccara is gay owned and we thank you for supporting a gay owned business while also helping us make a donation to those in need in our community during Pride month.”
This perfectly sums up why Black Baccara’s campaign is one to emulate — it’s about supporting the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQIA+ community while also supporting a gay owned business. Win-win!
Whether or not a brand’s Pride campaign will be a success is down to a few important factors — namely: authenticity, commitment, and selflessness.
If a company clearly uses Pride month as an excuse to make money with some last-minute rainbow-themed merchandise or fails to spotlight authentic LGBTQIA+ voices, then their campaigns will likely fail — or be called out by the public.
Keep in mind — people want to buy from brands that align with their values. And modern consumers are savvier than they’re often given credit for. Inauthenticity will be spotted quite easily and punished quickly. So make sure your brand’s heart is in the right place this year to celebrate Pride responsibly.