A rainbow logo isn’t enough
A rainbow logo isn’t enough. Major players in financial services, transportation and travel used Pride month (June) to kickoff purposeful changes to products and marketing.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has grown from small charitable giving programs to new sets of values and a new way of doing business. In fact, one in three consumers finds out about CSR initiatives through advertising, according to Mintel research on consumer attitudes towards corporate social responsibility.
While most consumers agree companies that pursuing CSR campaigns are changing the world for the better, skepticism about the authenticity of these efforts remains: 35% of consumers say companies that engage in CSR are just trying to look good.
Corporations should not only show a consistent commitment to efforts year-round but ensure they do more than the minimum qualifications to check the box.
Support Preferred Identification
Financial services brands, in particular, have the opportunity to support challenges associated with the use of true names and preferred pronouns.
Mastercard wants LGBTQ+ cardholders to be able to use their true name on their card without requiring a legal name change, and has called on the industry to “ensure a way for people’s financial products to reflect their true identity.”
Lyft now invites riders to self-select their pronoun. The change was advertised on Facebook as a demonstration of support for transgender and non-binary communities.
Marketers can show their commitment by featuring the LGBTQ community in advertisements and other creative content.
McDonald’s celebrated Drag Race’s 11th season with a spot for its Morning Essentials kit, starring beloved alum Shangela. Consumers responded positively to the co-promotion with more than 1,200 likes on Twitter (Comperemedia Omni 05/01/19 – 06/15/19, as of 06/19/19).
JetBlue is also a fan of Drag Race, hosting an exhibition of some of the show’s most iconic costumes at JFK this month.
The airline also branded one of its planes “Shantay Blue Stay,” a play on RuPaul’s catchphrase “Shantay – You Stay” and will feature former Drag Race contestants in its in-flight safety video beginning fall 2019.
Sports brands turned to their employees and membership bases for direction on inclusion and pledged year-round support to LGBTQ initiatives.
Peloton has 25 Pride-themed classes planned for June 2019, which members can take live in-studio or on-demand. Plus, their LGBTQ & Ally Facebook group is championing a virtual Pride Ride where members decorate their at-home bikes. Proceeds from the 2019 Pride apparel collection will benefit The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, an organization that provides advocacy, health and wellness programs, and family support services.
“The LGBTQ community finds its strength in numbers and Pride month is a global stage we use to bring visibility to our community with a goal of equality and acceptance. Groups like Peloton LGBTQ & Ally help us extend our conversations and visibility throughout the year so that we can move the needle forward when the Pride month stage isn’t there,” said Jacob Riha, Peloton LGBTQ & Ally Group Founder in an interview with Mintel.
What we think
As with Black History Month, Women’s Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month, among others, companies that stand out are those who support advocacy year-round, not just during times of recognition. Here are the big takeaways:
Financial services and telecom companies can play an important, proactive role in pronoun and true name inclusion across products. Marketing these product updates will only further the show of commitment.
GLAAD ads year-round
Marketers can support LGBTQ groups by employing LGBTQ actors and spokespeople, and not just in June. TV ads are a great way to show advocacy, as more than 35% of consumers said they learn of a company’s CSR initiatives from television ads.
Support for #SpiritDay
Commitment to the LGBTQ community should extend beyond June. Marketers can leverage other important events like Spirit Day in October; an anti-bullying campaign designed to accelerate acceptance of LGBTQ youth.