"it's an Easy Market, just slap a rainbow on or whatever and boom, you're in business"...
This feels like the sentiment from many companies advertising pride gear lately. You just whisper "pride month" into some executive's ear and they think: $$ Cha-Ching! $$. I swear sometimes it feels like those Pride Parade Vendors you see with shopping carts full of rainbow flags and bracelets got promoted to corporate exec jobs: "$150 dollar shoes... **cough**...**wheeze**... I mean get your rainbow shoes!"
Before we get crazy here ...
We have to mention that it is customary to share profits with an LGBT Organization, typically a national one and in some cases smaller and local groups. This is a Good Thing. Companies NOT donating to the cause have been shamed out of their marketing efforts. We want to ask: With so much rainbow marketing lately, what's the catch? Is there a catch? Let's look at the business' seen advertising to the LGBT scene:
Budweiser - Rainbow Aluminum Bottles
Nike - Rainbow Shoes
Reebok - Rainbow Shoes
Kenneth Cole - Rainbow Pride Apparel Kits
Express - Rainbow Apparel
Lauren Moshi - A $92 dollar tee shirt? Seriously?
Adidas - Rainbow Shoes (more shoes!)
Under Armour - Rainbow Apparel
Doc Martin - Rainbow Shoes
Vans - Rainbow Shoes
Target - Direct LGBT Marketing
Macy's - Direct LGBT Marketing
Gay Sandwhiches (yes, LGBT sandwhiches - https://www.dailywire.com/news/46838/uk-store-blasted-selling-lgbt-sandwich-honor-pride-paul-bois )
This list goes on and on and on...
"Pride is always in Season" is a common mantra among marketers. Social Media is lit up like Gay Christmas. If you are LGBT or ever subscribed / liked / commented on anything LGBT, you are on the Facebook/Instagram cross hairs (Welcome!). LGBT Advertising is everywhere you want to be.
Lets break down how Pride merch is being sold:
The Dollar-a-Sale Donation - This can be effective but the money from the sale of Pride gear has nothing to do with the donation. Businesses solicit a donation of small amounts ($1, $5, $10) at every sale on behalf of an organization. There is a positive spin: this is non-purchase specific (in most cases). If a donation is solicited during every sale, it offers people a chance to be a part of Pride whether purchasing rainbow gear or not. The donations can add up because everyone knows someone who is LGBT these days! (And we love each and every one of you!) Even LGBT haters are going to be asked: "Would you like to donate a dollar and put your name on our Rainbow Board?" </snicker>
The % Sale - This is a no brainer; a certain amount of each sale is donated to an LGBT organization and the partnership raises awareness for the cause (Pride, LGBT Advocacy, LGBT Homelessness), the supported organization, and the hosting business. This is win in our books.
The Zero Donation Sale - We personally shy away from this one and also we have to give credit to certain brands that have been embraced by LGBT culture for years. If Birkenstock comes out with a rainbow sandal then no one can call them phony. They have been embraced by LGBT individuals for years and our demographic is dead center of their radar. It's the brands that stealthily join the fun of Pride without contributions that should be avoided... or is that fair? We leave the decisions to you, the reader.
How is LGBT Marketing being received?
It's just our opinion but we think it is being well received by the majority or people. We do see some negative swing on the subject as evidenced by the [Give money to me, a real gay] posts making the rounds on Facebook. All of us can look forward to the day a gay person's front door is adorned by all the "I gave 1$" rainbow post-its! My $cashapp id is "______". In all fairness the marketing efforts are being received positively. They work to spread LGBT awareness and awareness is always a good thing. If businesses add dollars to get a homeless kid a bed to sleep in instead of an abandoned house, even better.
What has come from all PRIDE ads and merch?
The ultimate outcome is that we're being flooded with Rainbow Marketing in and around Pride Month. It's like someone threw a rainbow flag over us and is waterboarding us with the wine of our choice. One can feel like they are drowning in social media advertising. We think of the time after Pride where most of us are in "Rainbow Recovery" with darkly drawn shades, wine, and our fav Netflix show binge and wonder if that works for Facebook too.
Business will market to us and in return they help our cause and our communities. They will generate "Pink" dollars and in return help us with awareness and help us to help others. Not too bad. If that partnership ever breaks, then things will be different... maybe.
We're in the middle of an amazing transformation, and this is all part of it. Like it or not, it's not going away. We are the new hot market it seems. Us, Millenials, and GenXr's. That's not so bad as long as we remember WHY the rainbow is our symbol and we work to govern and maintain the culture of respect for corporations to remember the responsibility that comes with using our symbols to market to us.
Thank you to all our readers and listeners. We love you muches and muches! Questions and Comments can be sent to email@example.com.
Only social media and marketing material was referenced in this article. We do not own nor are we associated with any of the brands or businesses mentioned or shown. We used the pictures from Nike, Converse and M&S Foods as examples. In all honesty, because we are an LGBT owned and operated business, we're probably guilty of this too in some respects. Again our $cashapp is "... Also, thank you to Skye Matthews for editing and helping me sound educated : )