Dear Distinguished Subscribers,
Welcome to the 43rd Edition of Stuffed.
In honour of pride month, we are dedicating this week’s Stuffed to highlight those in the media industry who have valued and promoted inclusivity. This Pride month has seen attention turn to the act of “rainbow washing” with some brands coming under fire for the hollow gesture of simply changing their logo to a more colourful alternative. Here at Goodstuff we know more needs to be done and whilst, as we’ll see in this edition, the industry has come a long way, we want to continue to uplift voices that may not otherwise be heard.
Our talented bunch of Goodstuffers has been working in collaboration with our Pride Council to deliver this edition of astute media content which includes; a new initiative for adland to encourage & empower LGBT+ ad-landers to be their full, unedited self in the workplace, LEGO making waves with their new LGBTQ inclusive products and Sky partnering with the NSPCC to create a safe environment and assist with potential grooming and sexual exploitation. All this and more in Stuffed 43, Pride Takeover.
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Happy reading and stay safe everyone.
From your friends at Goodstuff.
STUFFED WITH CULTURE
To pledge support to the LGBT+ community, June always brings a wave of themed ad campaigns, clothing, and food (who can forget M&S’ controversial LGBT sandwich) from some of the world’s biggest brands. This year, social feeds have continued to be awash with rainbow logos, however, many have been quick to point out that several brands have been market-specific in their placement. No doubt it’s a complicated issue, with laws in some countries still banning the ‘promotion’ of LGBT rights, and even public support. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that simply preaching to the converted undermines the brand’s credibility as an ally. Whatever your opinion, there can be no disputing that true authenticity should always be grounded in real action, all year round.
The last decade has seen a significant increase in the representation of trans people across the media landscape, with Starbucks’ “What’s your name?” campaign awarded a 2021 Cannes Lion earlier this week. However, with hate crimes quadrupling over the past five years in the UK, clearly more needs to be done. Dani St James, chair of the trans support charity Not A Phase, shares important guidance on how our industry can better represent and work to protect the community.
Speaking of visibility within the industry, we love John Osborne and Oli Rimoldi ‘s aptly named initiative ‘Queer Ad Folk’, which hopes to encourage and empower LGBT+ ad-landers to be their full, unedited self in the workplace. Created in partnership with Out-vertising, you can read the inspiring personal stories behind the idea here.
STUFFED WITH CREATIVITY
To mark their sponsorship of Pride month, Brazilian marketplace Mercado Libre launched a campaign across video and OOH which reimagined the most iconic kisses across history and popular culture with LGBTQ+ couples. The brand (whose name translates to ‘Free Market)’ has also uploaded the images for free to its website.
The American retailer has co-created a Pride collection with student activists from GLSEN, an organisation that supports the creation of LGBTQ+ safe spaces in education. The collection celebrates a four-year partnership that has raised over $3m for GLSEN with Hollister donating $250,000 to the organisation this year.
The Iconic Danish toy company has created its first-ever LGBTQIA+ Lego set ‘Everyone is Awesome,’ based on all 11 colours of the original Pride flag with deliberately gender-neutral figurines. The set was the brainchild of Lego designer Mathew Ashton and was inspired by his own personal experiences.
Mastercard’s campaign began a few years ago for acting against the issues faced by transgender people with financial products. Recently the initiative reached new heights with a landmark partnership with Citibank in the US and is a worthy winner of a highly coveted Black Pencil at this year’s D&AD Awards.
STUFFED WITH COMMS
As part of Sky’s nationwide partnership with NSPCC, the broadcaster will be raising money for their Childline service this summer. This time, their emphasis is on helping children express and feel comfortable with their sexuality. Since the campaign began, Childline has delivered over 125,000 counseling sessions with children and young people about gender identity and sexuality. Celebrating Pride Month, it is important to encourage young people to talk about their own sexuality and support them through their journey. LGBTQ+ young people are also most at risk of grooming and sexual exploitation so Sky and the NSPCC’s partnership is vital. Their goal of £10,000 could help the Childline service answer 2,500 calls when children are in need.
As we look towards Pride Day, it feels like a poignant moment to look back at MediaTel’s Future of Brands panel that took place in April, focusing on how we can build meaningful and intersectional representation in advertising.
During this month, rainbow-washing by brands can feel rampant – but we know that simply changing a logo is a hollow gesture, allowing brands to appear to support the community without doing any tangible work. Tokenism can often do more harm than good, providing little by way of educational storytelling which could create real impact and awareness for the Pride community.
In the panel discussion, of which the full transcript can be read on the link below, the contributors cover what representative advertising actually means, and what practical steps brands can take to ensure their campaigns meaningfully represent the very people they are looking to speak to.
Thanks for tuning in to the 43rd edition of Stuffed, we’ll see you next week.