Our Favourite Pride Campaigns
As Pride month makes its triumphant return, it’s time to stop and take a look back at some of the great campaigns from alcohol brands that have embraced and celebrated the LGBTQIA+ community over the last few years.
From inspiring advertising to exceptional product packaging, these five alcohol brands have made a point to stand with their LGBTQIA+ customers in showing solidarity and support. Whether you run your own brand or work as a marketer, many great lessons can be taken away here on how you can use your platforms for good!
1. GOOSE ISLAND
Goose Island – Shea Coul-Alé (2020, 2021)
Goose Island as ever championing Chicago and the people in it, partnered with Shea Couleé (native Chicagoan), the onstage persona of 31-year-old Jaren Kyei Merrell. Shea who appeared on and won four challenges in season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race helped design the can and promoted it via her Instagram channel of (at the time) over 900K people.
In 2020 as part of its commitment to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, Goose Island Brewery donated a portion of sales to TransTech, a nonprofit organization that offers crucial support, education, and job referrals for transgender people. The initiative was spearheaded by Couleé, who personally selected TransTech as the recipient of Goose Island’s donation.
In 2021 $2 from each and every sale of Shea Coul-Alé will go to Brave Space Alliance, the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQIA+ Center situated on the South Side of Chicago.
In 2021, $2 of every sale was donated to Brave Space Alliance – a pioneering Black-led, trans-led, and LGBTQIA+ centre located on the South Side of Chicago.
A fun and simple campaign that linked to the city of Chicago but also showed ongoing commitment. Together they created a great-looking (and tasting beer) and helped a brilliant charity. Uncomplicated yet powerful use of brand partnership.
Smirnoff – Color the Future (2021)
A creative campaign so broad-ranging in scope it’s difficult to summarise quickly! A few aspects of this huge initiative are below:
Action Not Ads – Smirnoff hosted multiple “Color the Future” community-building events throughout the year. These events allowed adults (21+) to express their unique intersectional auras through colour and art while enjoying custom cocktails featuring Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka specially tailored to them.
Continued Commitment in Educating Bar and Restaurant Workers – The LGBTQIA+ community plays a critical role in the bar industry, Smirnoff is committed to educating and ensuring bars are a safe and inclusive space for people of the community to work.
“Color the Future” Limited Edition Cocktail Kits – a collaboration with Cocktail Courier available for adults (21+) to purchase throughout June via CocktailCourier.com. Smirnoff donated $10 for each kit sold during the month to the Phluid Phoundation. These donations go directly to a network of grassroots organizations that channel their energy and resources to the LGBTQIA+ communities.
Lastly, a pledge across the campaign:
The BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities will represent at least 50% of all people in front of the camera and behind it across Smirnoff advertising and brand marketing.
What we love about this campaign is that it’s not just a month-long endorsement of a cause it’s a wider commitment to drive genuine change creatively.
Absolut – Kiss With Pride (2017)
The campaign’s main focus was to shed light on the fact that same-sex activity was still illegal in 72 countries worldwide at the time. Launched on the 50th anniversary of the amendment of the Sexual Offences Act in England and Wales, the campaign featured a powerful series of posters. Each poster showcases individuals from the 72 countries engaging in a same-sex kiss to celebrate their freedom of expression.
Passionate speeches from LGBTQ activists were delivered during the launch event of the ‘Kiss With Pride’ exhibit at the Houses of Parliament. The exhibition showcased moving images that celebrated the progress made in changing attitudes towards the LGBTQIA+ community in the UK while raising awareness of the work that remains to be done worldwide.
The public also had the option to view the collection of images at East London’s Protein Gallery (our office!).
4. MILLER LITE
Miller Lite – Open & Proud (2021 – present)
In a more B2B move (similar to a portion of Absolut’s campaign) Miller Lite committed to creating safe and inclusive spaces in bars for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
They partnered with the Equality Federation to launch the ‘Open & Proud’ program in June 2021. Through this initiative, they’re working to make the 55,000 bars that serve Miller Lite more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community. Primarily through developing and implementing training guides and hosting local town halls. They’re also providing continued support to our friends at the Equality Federation and their important advocacy work.
By clicking through the ‘Open & Proud’ link above you can actually download the training materials. It’s obviously not a wild, out-the-box campaign, but I love this as inspiration for bar owners and managers looking to make their spaces safer for all communities.
5. BABE WINE
Babe Wine – Proud Ass Parents (2020)
The company reached out to the parents of well-known social media personalities within the LGBTQ+ community. The video features QWOC couple, Alayna and Taryn, as well as Aaron and Austin Rhodes. The Rhodes brothers famously came out to their father on YouTube in 2015, a video that has since garnered over 27 million views.
The emotional video aims to remind viewers of the importance and meaning behind Pride season and encourages everyone to embrace and stand up for the community.
The social media part? Consumers could then share who they’re proud AF of by tagging a friend or family member in the comments. Then, for each comment on IG or retweet on Twitter, Babe Wine committed to dedicating $1 (up to $15,000 total) towards LGBTQIA+ organizations Love on a Mission, The Center, and Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
Well there you have it, just a few examples of some great campaigns which run the gambit from social to print to B2B. All else aside the most important thing is that you ensure your activation is genuine. With so many people and great charities to help, ensure your brand is doing good and contributing to the cause and conversation.
FYI just changing the background of your profile picture to a rainbow won’t quite cut it!
Cheers all 🌈
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