Pride During a Global Pandemic

Pride 2020 was a year like no other; events were cancelled due to the global coronavirus pandemic, JK Rowling made headlines with transphobic rhetoric and the Black Lives Matter movement rightly took force.

Despite this, brands still aided the virtual celebration of Pride with the likes of Google and NYX creating virtual platforms to celebrate and bring together LGBTQ+ communities.

The transgender community took the spotlight in campaigns by Starbucks and Diesel who chose to tell the stories of young people embracing their true identity.

Pride merchandise was still rife with brands such as LEVI’s and IKEA selling items that support LGBTQ+ charities. Other brands, such as Tesco & Sainsbury’s that are normally key Pride sponsors, made large donations to charities.

There was noticeable absence from brands who are usually visible at Pride events. Most notably Finance and Travel brands did very little this year. It is likely that these brands, who have suffered the most during pandemic, had to scale back advertising for the survival of their businesses.

However, some brands completely missed the mark this year. M&S, who last year got berated for their LGBT sandwich, again got criticised for creating a “rainbow sale” in support of the NHS. This was seen to claim the Pride rainbow that is a symbol of the LGBTQ+ movement. L’Oréal were also under fire from Munroe Bergdorf for their hypocrisy after putting a post on social media to praise speaking out against racism that directly contradicted the reason they had terminated her contract.

A pandemic didn’t deter the support from brands who continue to advocate the LGBTQ+ community through inclusive, supportive, and representative campaigns. However, others continued to miss the mark through superfluous rainbow washing and a lack of meaningful action to support the LGBTQ+ community.

For any brand looking to support events like Pride here are our top tips:

  1. Ensure that your company values match those that you are choosing to affiliate yourself with
  2. Make sure your support is genuine and you actively support and champion the cause you are affiliating yourself with
  3. Don’t just support a cause during a time of high visibility, like Pride, make sure your support is ongoing

To read our Pride 2020 report click here


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