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Yay or nay? Pride campaigns the Internet loved and hated in 2023

Yay or nay? Pride campaigns the Internet loved and hated in 2023

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With pride month just around the corner in June, numerous brands have begun releasing special edition items and collections to encourage visibility for the LGBTQ+ community. From Apple to Calvin Klein, brands are no stranger to creating products to show their support for their queer consumers.

While some campaigns have been a hit this year, we also have had our fair share of fails with netizens taking to social media to voice their complaints.

In honour of the celebrations, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE decided to take a look at some of the biggest Pride campaigns and initiatives that we have seen in the region.

1. Adidas X Rich Mnisi’s “Let Love Be Your Legacy” collection

adidas x rich mnisi campaign

This Pride month, Adidas released a new collaboration with South African, queer designer Rich Mnisi for Pride 2023; Let Love Be Your Legacy as it celebrates allyship and freedom of expression without bias in sports and culture. 

The collection, which features a range of lifestyle and performance apparel as well as footwear, was inspired by a love letter Mnisi wrote to his younger self, in which he declares Let Love Be Your Legacy - serving as his mission statement, but also a rallying cry for active allyship to empower and champion the LGBTQIA+ community.

Unfortunately, the collection made headlines for all the wrong reasons when it launched the new range of women's swimsuits but used a man to model them . Netizens took to social media to share their distaste with women's rights activist Riley Gaines tweeting that the use of a male model "erased women".

"I don't understand why companies are voluntarily doing this to themselves. They could have at least said the suit is "unisex", but they didn't because it's about erasing women. Ever wondered why we hardly see this go the other way?" she asked. 

Other users said that they would be boycotting the brand with the hashtag #BoycottAdidasgarnering significant usage following the outcry.

Don't miss: LGBT party organisers slam Capitol Theatre for 'disingenuous' response to cancelled event

2. Revolut X Oogachaga’s Diversity Card

revolut lgbt card

This year, fintech company Revolut decided to get in on Pride with a collaboration with local non-profit LGBTQ+ organisation Oogachaga which provides those in the LGBTQ+ community with emotional support services and counselling. The companies came together to launch a special-edition pride-themed card called the Diversity Card.

As part of the initiative, consumers can donate a minimum of SG$10 to Oogachacha to obtain a limited-edition card that will feature the colours of the pride flag. Consumers can also opt to set up recurring donations should they wish with the card.

3. Apple’s Pride Edition Bands

apple pride bands

This month, Apple unveiled two new Pride Edition watch bands with dynamic Pride watch faces in honour of the celebrations, according to a statement by the tech company. 

The first band is a sports loop wherein members and allies of the LGBTQ+ creative community at Apple were asked to deliver a new expression of pride through a unique design. The result was a double-layer nylon-woven band with the word 'pride' woven in cursive style. 

The second loop is the Nike sport loop which features a rainbow strap and a matching rainbow-colored Nike Bounce face to accompany it. 

Inspired by multiple pride flags, Apple also released a new pride thread watch face with the colours of the rainbow that move as the Digital Crown on the Apple Watch is rotated.

4. Swatch’s ‘Love Is Love’ Watches

swatch pride collection

As part of its ongoing celebration of love and joy, Swatch released a vivid collection of watches inspired by the bold colours of the Pride flag. The watches also feature a symmetrical seconds hand to symbolise equality along with two rainbow loops that aim to celebrate unity and diversity.

Despite the thoughtful collection, it recently made headlines when Malaysian authorities raided a number of its stores in the country and confiscated 164 rainbow-coloured watches worth a total of US$14,000 from its Pride collection for LGBTQ connotations, according to a statement by the brand.

The seizure was reportedly based on the Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984 which ensures that content produced does not offend or undermine race relations.

Swatch has fought back against the raid however and its legal team is currently looking into the matter.

5. Calvin Klein’s “Let It Out” Campaign

This month, Calvin Klein got in on the action with a campaign video costarring LGBTQ+ actors Amandla Stenberg and Brandon Flynn along with its 2023 “This Is Love” apparel collection. The campaign, interestingly enough, was shot entirely in black and white, a break from the bold and colourful campaigns we have seen thus far. 

Using the tagline "celebrate pride in fluid pieces to style with anything”, the apparel collection is a sleek take on pride as it utilises colour blocks and bold colours in its gym wear, clothing and accessories.

6. Ikea X Oogachaga Frakta Bag Campaign

As Ikea’s continues its commitment to building a community where everyone can feel welcome this pride month, the Swedish furniture brand is donating 100% of the profits from the sale of the 36L Frakta carrier bags to Oogachaga in support of their non-profit counselling services for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Here, you’re welcome no matter where you come from, what you believe, what you look like or who you like to snuggle up with,” the company said on their site.

“We don’t even care how you organise your kitchen cabinets. We’re interested in you simply because you’re human,” the statement continued.

The campaign is ironically titled ‘This bag is pink’ as it prominently displays their iconic blue carrier bag and will run from 17 to 30 June 2023.

Related articles: 
Why did Burberry's LGBTQ focused Valentine's Day ad cause such a ruckus?
How these famous brands are celebrating King Charles' coronation this weekend
Out in HK founder complains about StanChart marathon staff's attempt to remove LGBTQ+ flag

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