Pride Month Advertising Analysis


To determine themes and categories which brands use when designing ad campaigns surrounding Pride Month.

Early Findings

In the United States, Pride Month is celebrated in June, chosen to honor the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Originally envisioned as a one-day event near the end of the month, as inclusion in the country increased the celebration evolved into a month long celebration.

Concerns and Considerations in Pride Month Marketing

  • "Brands may be particularly eager to appeal to the LGBTQ group because research shows that the community tends to prefer spending with supportive brands."
  • While there is an overall positive effect with targeted Pride Month advertising, it is crucial to be authentic and not be seen as pandering.
  • A "YouGov study based on nearly 4,000 American adults found that 24% of people overall claim to be more likely to do business with companies known to be LGBTQ friendly." Further, within the LGBTQ community, those percentages rise. "74% of gay and lesbian individuals said they were more likely to buy from LGBTQ-supportive brands; bisexual people came in at 60%; politically liberal people 52%, and all people between the ages of 18 and 34 at 35%."
  • Philippe Pinatel, general manager of MAC Cosmetics (a company formed by members of the LGBTQ community) states that "if you want to highlight a moment in time, whether its Pride or something else, that’s great, but you need to continue that narrative and connect with your consumers beyond that one moment in time.
  • A "plurality of Americans (44%) say a company’s perceived friendliness to LGBTQ+ populations doesn’t affect their purchasing decisions, while one in five (18%) say they’d be less likely to do business with such companies. Conservatives (40%) are particularly likely to say they’re less likely to do business with LGBTQ+-friendly companies."
  • Companies like Campbell's, Colgate, Ikea and Nordstrom are among the businesses that have featured same-sex couples in their advertising. A "plurality (46%) of Americans say that seeing an ad with a same-sex couple wouldn’t make them more or less likely to purchase a product, but some consumers are more likely to be affected by these advertisements."
  • Nearly three in ten (27%) Americans say that seeing a same-sex couple in an advertisement would make them less likely to purchase the product.
  • 50% of Americans say that if a company debuts special Pride-themed gear or content (like rainbow-colored merchandise or special menu items, for example), they’re likely to see that decision more as a marketing tactic than as a genuine reflection of the company’s values — though gay men/lesbian women (30%), liberals (28%), and parents (26%) are among the most likely to see these actions as more authentic.

Examples of 2019 Pride Month Advertising Campaigns

  • During WorldPride in June 2019, many brands were active. "J.Crew, Kenneth Cole, Under Armour, Gap, Calvin Klein, American Eagle, Nordstrom, Express and DKNY have their own Pride collections. Shoe brands like Toms, Converse, Reebok, Nike and Dr. Martens all have versions of their shoes in varying shades of rainbow and colors of LGBTQ+ community flags."
  • MeUndies is a brand built on the principles of inclusively and self-expression. 2019 was "it’s third year of involving Pride in its collections and advertising and, this year, it’s Pride collection is in association with DJ and EDM producer GRiZ, an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. From every pair sold, $1 will be donated to Miley Cyrus’ nonprofit Happy Hippie Foundation."
  • Playboy, a longtime supporter of LGBTQ+ equality, sold "Playboy Bunny Ears and T-shirts designed by seven queer artists online as well as at a pop-up shop during New York City’s WorldPride, with all proceeds going to The Trevor Project.
  • Harry's sold its "Shave with Pride" set at many events and online.
  • The sparkling water brand, bubly, offered a rainbow 18-can "All For Love Pride Pack" while supplies held out (both online and in-store) at Amazon, Walmart, and
  • Kind gave away free samples of its new Pride Bar and 100% of in-store sales (of the bar) went to the Ali Forney Center, an organization that supports LGBTQ+ homeless youth in the US.

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.
It is suggested that research continue to further investigate the following: 1) 5-7 examples of brands (other than those mentioned in the early findings) who developed Pride Month campaigns - detailing any partnerships, influencers, channels used, and/or special collections created; and 2) 5-7 examples of on-going (not specific to Pride month) LGBTQ-related advertising.
Alternatively, and/or additionally, research can commence to provide 3-5 best practices surrounding LGBTQ-specific advertising campaigns.