Happy Pride Month! Here are the 5 Brands With Impactful LGBTQ+ Influencer Strategy
It's tough to make your brand stand out among the competitors in the market. That's where events like Pride Month come in—they give you a unique opportunity to make your voice heard. But here's the thing: it's not enough to talk about inclusivity and diversity. You have to show that your brand is genuinely committed to social responsibility.
To achieve this, you need to go beyond the usual product promotion and amplify the voices of the LGBTQ+ community and their causes. And the secret sauce lies in partnering with the right LGBTQ+ influencers who can help you make it happen and truly shine in the market.
The Results: You can expect higher levels of consumer engagement, increased brand loyalty, and a bigger market share. In this blog, we look into the influencer marketing strategies of five brands that went above and beyond, creating meaningful and impactful campaigns in unique ways. Their goal? To make an emotional connection with their target audience and build long-term relationships.
1. NYX Cosmetics – Collaboration With LGBTQ+ Gaming Influencers on Twitch and Metaverse
The USA-based cosmetics brand, in 2022, launched its campaign #ProudAlliesForAll in partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center to create awareness about how to be LGBTQ+ally. To do so, they minted NYX professional makeup avatars, with 36 skin tones matching the makeup shade range for the #METAPRIDE — a pride parade on the metaverse platform The Sandbox.
It was a first-of-its-kind parade, where consumers were asked to participate by posting an image of themselves with the "Proud Allies" Instagram filter while sharing who they marched for. The brand partnered with nano and micro-influencers and even mid-tier influencers who were writers, speakers, performers, and musicians. These LGBTQ+ influencers promoted limited edition products launched by the brand, eye paints and gloss.
But guess what? They took things further this year with their Game Out Loud Pride campaign. They're collaborating with LGBTQ+ gaming influencers to raise awareness about anti-LGBTQ+ bullying in the online gaming world. Some gaming influencers featured in the campaign include Brian Diaz, Frederic Chen, Glitch, Lilly Teel, and Martin Corona.
These talented LGBTQ+ gamers will host live streams focusing on education, ally messaging, and inclusivity. And also using makeup to represent their favorite games as part of the campaign.
According to the brand press release, nearly 90 percent of LGBTQ+ gamers have been harassed about their identities online. With the launch of the 'Game Out Loud' campaign, the brand aims to target hate by creating safe spaces in the metaverse and real life.
Through the campaign, NYX is looking to increase the visibility and representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the gaming space. During the game, these influencers can educate their audience about LGBTQ+ history, issues, and rights. They can share personal experiences, discuss relevant topics, and dispel myths or stereotypes, fostering a better understanding and acceptance within the gaming community.
The brand is activating safe spaces online on Roblox, Twitch, and nyxcosmetics.com. At the House of NYX Professional Makeup in iHeartland on Roblox, the brand is set to feature an NPC (non-player character) that will ask visitors to take an allyship pledge focused on education about safe spaces.
After committing to the pledge, visitors will receive an ally badge for their Roblox avatar to wear around iHeartland. Active Roblox users will also experience the brand's exclusive virtual merchandise inspired by their years-long Proud Allies For All program. Outside of Pride celebrations, the company launched its 2023 collection within its Roblox space.
Clearly, by featuring diverse individuals and sharing their stories, NYX can increase its visibility and representation within the gaming community.
2. Peloton - Exclusive Sessions and Workshops by Fitness Influencers to Engage LGBTQ+ Community
Peloton is a USA-based exercise equipment and media company. They're known for selling products like stationary bicycles, treadmills, and indoor rowers with Internet-connected touch screens. During Pride Month, Peloton goes all out to connect with its audience in a stronger and more meaningful way.
Each year, Peloton highlights the power and creativity of Pride with themed workouts and music moments featuring icons and rising stars from the LGBTQ+ community. These sessions are designed to create a lasting bond with their audience and celebrate Pride Month in style.
Peloton puts together an incredible lineup of classes, including bike rides, treadmill runs, yoga, meditation, and cardio. And guess who leads these classes? Fitness trainers who are total influencers in their own right. They have a massive following and are experts at building a community.
Take Andy Speer, for example. He's a tread and strength instructor with 165k followers. Then we have Denis Morton, a yoga instructor, cyclist, and wave rider with 239k followers. Also, Matt Wilpers, the coach and training specialist at Peloton and a distance runner with 276k followers. These fitness trainers have cultivated a loyal following by sharing content about food, their daily lifestyle, and helpful exercise tips. Peloton knows how to leverage its influence during Pride Month.
By partnering with fitness influencers with a significant LGBTQ+ following, Peloton taps into that specific demographic and creates an environment of inclusivity and support.
In 2022, Peloton came up with a special schedule for their Pride classes. They offered a 30-minute live DJ run by Adrian Williams and Jess King, a Pride Yoga Flow by Denis Morton and Ross Rayburn, and a live DJ Ride by Cody Rigsby. It was an amazing lineup that celebrated Pride while keeping people active and engaged.
Interestingly, Peloton also invites LGBTQ+ instructors to share their truth and personal journey. This strategy of hosting a month-long fitness extravaganza has increased brand exposure and attracted a more targeted LGBTQ+ audience for the brand.
The Pride Month campaign allows Peloton to engage with its community, providing a welcoming and inclusive space. These fitness influencers foster community, encourage participation, and build relationships with attendees. Ultimately, this helps Peloton establish long-term customer relationships and loyalty within the LGBTQ+ community.
3. Skittles – Creating QR Codes to Showcase and Amplify LGBTQ+ Artistic Influencers
Skittles has always been at the forefront when it comes to showcasing the artistic side during Pride Month. Their well-known slogan, "Taste the Rainbow," speaks volumes for itself.
The candy brand already has a tradition of selling colorless Pride Packs with just one rainbow to raise money for partners like GLAAD. These limited-edition packaging is specifically for Pride Month, which is widely recognized as a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride.
In 2021, Skittles launched the “QueeR Codes” campaign that redirects consumers to a website featuring content about the artists and Pride. The brand teamed with five LGBTQ+ influencers to showcase personal stories about drag performance, sign language performance, music, dance, and makeup artistry.
Working with LGBTQ+ influencers in Atlanta, Nashville, Newark, and San Antonio, Skittles created original murals that were adorned with a "QueeR Code" (like a regular QR code). When scanned, the QueeR Codes unlocked a rich microsite experience that featured work and stories from LGBTQ+ creators all over the country—as well as resources and information for community members and allies.
Amplified by an aggressive media relations push, the campaign was a tremendous success—raising awareness for the community. Skittles earned 650M earned impressions, 20,000+ visitors to the queer code landing page, and 10,000 additional followers added to the partner creator's Instagram pages, according to the ICF agency that handled the campaign.
Increased social media engagement holds the potential to expand the brand reach and attract new customers. By promoting messages of love, acceptance, and equality, the brand also creates an emotional bond with its audience, leading to increased customer loyalty and advocacy.
4. Chipotle – Competition and Community Engagement with Popular Drag Queens
Chipotle went all out to celebrate the drag culture and show support for LGBTQ+ organizations during 2021 Pride Month. They hosted a super cool competition called the Chipotle Queen of Pride, along with a special Chipotle Drag Lunch.
Here's how it worked: From June 1 to June 16, 2021, Chipotle featured the go-to Chipotle orders of three amazing drag queens—Trixie Mattel, Kim Chi, and Gottmik—on their app and website. And the best part? $1 from each entrée purchase went to the LGBTQ+ charity of their choice. Talk about making a difference while enjoying some delicious food!
The Pride-themed meals they cooked up in collaboration with these fabulous drag queens included Trixie Mattel's Pride Burrito — a flavor explosion with brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, sofritas, tomatillo green-chili salsa, cheese, guac, and romaine lettuce. While the Gottmik Pride Salad was a vibrant mix of super greens salad, brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, sofritas, fresh tomato salsa, and roasted chili-corn salsa. And the Kim Chi Pride Bowl featured white rice, guac, steak, fresh tomato salsa, roasted chili-corn salsa, tomatillo red-chili salsa, sour cream, cheese, and romaine lettuce.
The drag queen who received the most orders was crowned the Chipotle Queen of Pride and received an additional $10,000 to donate to the charity of their choice.
Chipotle's collaboration with these well-known drag queens allowed them to tap into their influence and fanbase, bringing more participation and excitement to the campaign. The competition created a real sense of community. Customers got to rally behind their favorite drag queen while contributing to their chosen charity. Chipotle's Pride Month campaign is a fantastic example of how a brand can go beyond just delicious food to make a difference and spread love and acceptance.
5. American Eagle – Nurturing Collaboration with LGBTQ+ Team Members
Collaborating with LGBTQ+ team members for influencer campaigns during Pride Month has become quite a trend. Brands like Absolut Vodka, MAC Cosmetics, Target, Adidas, Airbnb, and Google have all jumped on board with this idea. And in 2022, the USA-based fashion brand American Eagle decided to join the movement and uniquely celebrate diversity and inclusivity.
They handpicked four of their employees to be pride models. These individuals came from different departments like the design team, visual merchandising, learning and development, and quality engineering. Each of them shared their personal perspectives on what pride meant to them.
By featuring individuals from various backgrounds, orientations, and identities, American Eagle supported the LGBTQ+ community and showed their commitment to inclusivity in their marketing efforts. But it wasn't just about representation. It was about showcasing real people who actually work for the company, which added an authentic and relatable element to the brand's messaging. Customers could see these employees as genuine representatives of the company's values.
When employees act as pride models, it gives the brand's messaging a sense of trustworthiness and credibility. It humanizes the brand and establishes a connection between the employees and the audience. It's a win-win situation for both the brand and its customers. Plus, it's a fantastic way to generate positive publicity and show the brand's dedication to inclusivity.
In addition to working with their employees, American Eagle also teamed up with a mega influencer named Maia, also known as Mxmtoon. Maia, a YouTuber and Twitch streamer for their Colour Your Own Rainbow campaign. The brand designed a limited edition collection, and Maia shared her personal journey of coming out as queer, celebrating Pride Month, and promoting inclusivity.
Maia's capsule collection included five awesome unisex tees with phrases like "Color your own rainbow," "Be you," and "Loving in unity." And that's not all! American Eagle had a wide range of Pride offerings, including high-top sneakers, jeans, skirts, short overalls, denim shorts, hoop earrings, underwear, socks, and vegan sandals. They also collaborated with nano-influencers in the lifestyle and fashion categories, expanding the reach of their message.
Fast forward to 2023, and American Eagle has teamed up with another incredible influencer, Olivia Ponton. This collaboration is all about inclusivity and self-expression. Together, the brand and Ponton have created a capsule collection featuring amazing pieces and graphics that showcase what pride means to her.
The response has been incredible, with Olivia's Instagram post garnering thousands of likes and comments. American Eagle has also given their followers a behind-the-scenes look at how the collaboration with Olivia came to life, from design to production to the photo shoot.
If you're planning to run an influencer campaign this Pride Month, it's essential to view it as more than just a one-time effort. Think of it as a long-term commitment to making a difference. And to achieve that, you need to collaborate with the right influencers who can authentically share your cause and uphold your brand values.
But we get it—finding the perfect influencers and managing the entire campaign can be overwhelming. That's where influencer marketing platforms like affable.ai come to the rescue. With affable.ai, you can simplify the entire process.
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