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1. Top 5 Pride marketing campaigns to inspire yours

Pride month advertising: Top campaigns & best practices [2024]

On June 28, 1970, the world witnessed the first Pride Parade, held in different parts of the USA. And it's that time of the year again - Pride Parade Month! A period marked not only by vibrant parades and heartwarming celebrations but also by a surge in rainbow-inspired marketing campaigns. Looking to join in but not sure where to start? We've got you covered.

We've picked out the top five Pride Month campaigns that truly left a mark, and we're diving into why they worked.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Explore five standout campaigns from renowned brands such as Converse, H&M, The North Face, Infosys, and Levi's that have successfully executed impactful Pride marketing initiatives.

  • Learn key strategies that can contribute to the success of a Pride Month campaign, encompassing principles like authenticity, inclusivity, collaboration with LGBTQ+ community organizations, education, transparent support for LGBTQ+ causes, and active feedback implementation.

  • Understand the challenges faced in Pride marketing and discover approaches to navigate them effectively.

  • Explore how leveraging print on demand services, specifically those provided by Gelato, can augment your Pride Month campaign's effectiveness and audience connection through custom merchandise.

Top 5 Pride marketing campaigns to inspire yours


Ready to create a dazzling Pride Month campaign? Let's spark some creativity with an overview of five inspirational Pride marketing initiatives that have championed LGBTQ+ inclusivity and authenticity.

1. Converse - Proud to be

In the "Proud to Be'' advertising campaign by Converse, authenticity, self-expression, and unique identity take center stage. By embracing the voices of various LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies, Converse has illuminated the diverse experiences within the community.

This campaign speaks volumes for several reasons: 

  • Authentic representation: Featuring artist and entertainer Big Freedia and Converse All Stars Eva, Yeliz, and Xavier (aka Internet X), the campaign encapsulates broad identity spectrums within the community.

  • Inclusive design: Each pair of sneakers in the Converse Pride collection has a unique design, emphasizing individuality within the community. Plus, they're available in gender-neutral sizing, extending inclusivity to all consumers.

  • Meaningful partnerships: Converse has joined hands with various LGBTQIA+ organizations worldwide, ensuring that their commitment to the cause extends beyond the campaign.

  • Empowerment-driven messaging: The campaign champions authenticity, freedom, and love, resonating with sentiments in the queer community and driving a connective bond.

Quote from the ad:

"I hope that everybody in the queer community feels empowered to be themselves. I'm proud to be me, and I'm proud to be loud and proud."

Watch the full ad here.

2. H&M - Beyond the rainbow

The "Beyond the Rainbow" campaign by H&M is not just a visual spectacle but a potent exploration of Pride's true essence. This advertisement cherishes Pride not merely as a celebratory event but also as a persistent struggle for equality and acceptance. 

The elements that underpin its success are: 

  • Deeper meaning: The campaign goes beyond surface-level representation to delve into the history and symbolism of the Pride flag, effectively educating the audience.

  • Authentic voices: It includes real voices from the gay community, adding genuineness to the narrative.

  • Social awareness: It serves as a reminder of the hard-fought battles by those inside the LGBTQ+ community, emphasizing the significance of the right to celebrate.

  • Empowering tone: The campaign communicates hope and resilience, fostering empowerment and solidarity within the community and its allies.

This ad allows H&M to connect with its audience on a deeper, more personal level, demonstrating the true power of inclusive marketing.

Watch the full ad here.

3. The North Face - Summer of pride

The North Face roped in the famous drag queen and wilderness enthusiast, Pattie Gonia, for their "Summer of Pride" campaign. The idea was simple but masterfully executed - nature accepts everyone as they are, and so does The North Face. 

The campaign was a series of outdoor events across the U.S., creating a platform for inclusivity, authenticity, and celebration. 

  • Inclusive invitation: The script was sage yet humorous, inviting "everyone" – encapsulating the ethos of Pride Month seamlessly.

  • Natural authenticity: The premise was built on the correlation between nature's acceptance and the acceptance sought after by the LGBTQ+ community – a brilliant metaphor for inclusivity.

  • Celebrity collaboration: Partnering with Pattie Gonia, an advocate for queer acceptance and an outdoor lifestyle, augmented the campaign's credibility and reach.

  • Physical events: Organizing actual gatherings not only created buzz but also ensured direct engagement with the community – amplifying the campaign's impact.

Watch the full ad here.

4. Infosys - Embrace with love

In Infosys' heart-stirring "Embrace with Love" campaign, the narrative revolves around a young girl with a half-rainbow heart on a mission to find her missing half. 

This symbolic journey eloquently represents the mission of individuals in the LGBTQ+ community striving for acceptance, love, and a sense of belonging. 

Here's what sets this campaign apart:

  • Emotional quotient: The emotive storyline touches hearts, making the campaign not only memorable but also relatable to many experiencing similar struggles.

  • Authenticity: With its transparent portrayal of the 'otherness' experienced by many in the LGBTQ+ community, the campaign effectively speaks to authenticity, a key element in successful Pride marketing.

  • Empathy: The campaign’s call to the viewer to aid the protagonist’s journey strikes a chord and encourages empathy towards those on their journey of acceptance. 

Watch the full ad here.

5. Levi's - How do you show up?

Levi’s “How Do You Show Up?” campaign is a poignant testament to self-expression and authenticity. Featuring a diverse cast of six globally represented LGBTQ+ individuals, this campaign:

  • Promotes authenticity: It exudes authenticity, emphasizing that “showing up as yourself empowers you to show up for your community,” and highlights the cast members living as their true selves.

  • Creates emotional connection: The advertisement forges an emotional connection by showcasing the cast's varied self-expression and the strength found in their unique identities.

  • Commits to the cause: Levi's has ensured their support isn't just on the surface, making a hefty annual donation of $100,000 to Outright International, an organization working to advance LGBTQ+ rights globally.

Watch the full ad here.

Best practices for successful Pride Month marketing campaigns


Let's dive into understanding how to shape your Pride Month marketing strategy. These best practices will serve as your guide in creating an impactful and meaningful campaign that will resonate genuinely with your audience, foster inclusivity, and raise awareness during Pride Month.

1. Embrace authenticity and extend your commitment

Creating a truly impactful Pride Month campaign involves displaying genuine support and extending commitment beyond this month. 

Here are a few ways to achieve that: 

  • Show authenticity: Consumers can see right through superficial tie-ins and rainbow-chasing motives. Demonstrate genuine support to the LGBTQ+ community by incorporating stories that resonate and align with their experiences.

  • Extend commitment: Your company's support for equality and diversity should not be limited to Pride Month. Highlight how your business fosters inclusivity year-round and specify initiatives or measures taken to support the LGBTQ+ community beyond June. This could be charity donations, partnering with LGBTQ+ organizations, or fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment.

2. Represent inclusivity in your campaign

Being inclusive is integral to your brand’s success when launching a Pride movement campaign. Ensure everyone feels represented and seen by: 

  • Using a diverse range of models and voices: This should cut across all genders, sexual orientations, ages, races, and abilities. It’s about broad representation, not ticking off a checklist.

  • Incorporating varied stories: Avoid focusing solely on cliche or stereotypical narratives. Embrace the rich spectrum of the LGBTQ+ experience.

  • Making inclusive language a priority: Language matters and has the power to include or exclude. Your words can help to validate identities and experiences.

3. Collaborate with LGBTQ+ organizations

Partnering with LGBTQ+ organizations not only brings authenticity to your campaign but also provides a platform to uplift the voices of the community. When you collaborate, 

  • You gain insight: These organizations provide a direct line to understand the needs, concerns, and aspirations of the community, creating campaigns that resonate.

  • You show support: By supporting them financially or otherwise, you demonstrate real commitment to the cause, going beyond mere lip service.

  • You boost reputation: A partnership with trusted LGBTQ+ organizations can greatly enhance your brand's reputation, showcasing your values as a progressive and inclusive entity.

4. Educate and increase awareness

Creating a successful Pride Month campaign means more than just colorful visuals. It's also about educating your audience and increasing awareness of the LGBTQ+ community's experiences and challenges. This means: 

  • Inform: Share facts, statistics, and stories to shed light on important issues.

  • Join the dialogue: Participate in conversations about LGBTQ+ rights and respect, promoting understanding and acceptance.

  • Utilize platforms: Use different social media platforms to reach wider audiences with educational content.

  • Resources: Link to resources that can further educate your audience, like LGBTQ+ support organizations or informative articles.

5. Transparently support LGBTQ+ causes

When developing your Pride Month campaign, it's vital to openly support LGBTQ+ causes. Wield your influence and resources to foster positive change, becoming more than just a brand seeking profit: 

  • Authenticity: Commit to the cause genuinely. Pride isn't just a theme; it's a movement. Go beyond rainbow-colored products and services. Transparently align with the cause through your actions.

  • Allocate funds: Allocate a portion of your profits from Pride-related products to LGBTQ+ charities. Declare this upfront in your campaign.

  • Mission alignment: Ensure your Pride support aligns with your company's mission and values.

Your alignment with Pride shouldn't end come July; it should essentially be part of your brand's lasting ethos.

6. Listen to and act on feedback

Feedback, constructive critiques, and honest responses are more than just valuable insights; they're elements that can transform your Pride marketing campaign from good to great. 

Here's how: 

  • Pick the right platforms: Online forums, social media, and post-campaign surveys can provide unmatched, genuine feedback.

  • Value the voice: Whether it's praise or criticism, remember each response reflects a consumer's perception of your brand's Pride efforts.

  • Action: Translate feedback into definitive actions. Tweaking elements based on informed suggestions fosters visible brand growth.

  • Keep communication two-way: Acknowledge feedback and show your audience are invested in their thoughts and feelings. This enhances brand trust and respect.

Overcoming challenges in Pride marketing


In launching impactful Pride marketing campaigns, businesses often face several common challenges. Let's discuss five of these challenges and how you can effectively overcome them. 

1. Misrepresentation or stereotyping

An aspect that can make or break your campaign is the proper representation of the LGBTQ+ community. Misrepresentation or stereotyping can lead to backlash, damaging your brand's reputation. 

Overcoming this requires proper research and consulting with members of the LGBTQ+ community or organizations to understand and accurately represent their experiences in a respectful way. 

2. Turning advocacy into a marketing ploy

Campaigns that merely use Pride Month as a means to sell more products can come across as insincere and exploitative. It's crucial to strike a balance with your marketing tactic. 

Businesses should view Pride Month as an opportunity to express genuine support for the LGBTQ+ community, not just to drive sales. Aligning your campaign with concrete actions, like donating a portion of sales to LGBTQ+ causes, can mark your campaign as altruistic, not opportunistic. 

3. Lack of inclusivity within the LGBTQ+ community

The LGBTQ+ community is extremely diverse. Too often, campaigns focus on the more visible 'G' (Gay) and 'L' (Lesbian) factions, ignoring the 'B' (Bisexual), 'T' (Transgender), and 'Q+' (Queer and others). 

Incorporating the entire spectrum of identities is essential to avoid perpetuating exclusion within the community itself. A diverse consultative panel can assist in forming a comprehensive and inclusive campaign. 

4. Fading commitment post-Pride Month

If your commitment to the LGBTQ+ cause appears to wane after Pride Month, consumers may see it as shallow and disingenuous. 

To overcome this, continue showing support year-round through various initiatives and communication. This way, your campaign becomes a part of a larger, sustained effort, not a one-time spectacle. 

5. Ignorance about the history and significance of Pride

Many businesses sometimes overlook the historical context of Pride Month. This can lead to campaigns that feel disconnected or superficial. A brief run-through of Pride history can suffice to correct this; ensure your messaging respects the past struggles and milestones that have shaped the LGBTQ+ community.

Power your Pride campaign with print on demand


It's time to power up your Pride Month campaign like never before. By leveraging print on demand services, you get to match your fabulous marketing efforts with equally enticing merchandise. 

Consider Gelato's diverse offerings, including t-shirts, mugs, wall art, phone cases, and photo books. All these items can be customized to reflect your commitment to LGBTQ+ awareness and inclusivity, making a real impact on your audience. 

Don't just limit your Pride celebrations to social media campaigns; make a lasting impression with personalized products. 

Ready to bring your pride campaign to life? Sign up for Gelato today and choose a subscription plan that suits your needs and goals.


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