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Subjects: SVY, LGB, DEI

New 2SLGBTQ+ Marketing Survey Points to the Brand Actions that Will Minimize "Rainbow Washing" for Pride

Amid a relatively quiet Pride year for North America brands, amplifying and learning from community informs more meaningful, effective marketing

LOS ANGELES and WINNIPEG, MB, June 10, 2024 /CNW/ - Marketing and public relations agency UpHouse recently conducted a study comprising 500 2SLGBTQ+ respondents across North America. Participants shared their thoughts about Pride marketing, including perspective on its authenticity, effectiveness, representation and relevance. Around 60 per cent found Pride marketing relevant, and 30 per cent of Canadian respondents found Pride marketing was very effective.

According to the data, the three most negative elements of Pride marketing are:

All of these elements can help brands and their partners establish guidelines for marketing and policies that might be deemed "rainbow washing."

UpHouse, a Canadian-based agency with teams in Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver, and Mat Meir Consulting, Toronto-based research company, designed the research to guide brands who seek to engage in Pride and the queer community. The quantitative and qualitative data indicates that marketers need to reflect on their own practices and make changes inwardly to guide brand storytelling.

Access the full report of the study's findings on the UpHouse website.

"If you're being called out for rainbow washing, there's a good chance it's because you are," said Alex Varricchio, Co-Owner of UpHouse. "When queer communities ask for support, they mean they want you to create an intentionally inclusive environment starting from within. At Pride, it's best to focus on sharing stories of positive actions you're taking as an organization, and demonstrating real, tangible efforts. As a company dedicated towards elevating messages that need to be heard, we know that when you listen and meet community expectations, you'll be able to build that trust with your customers."

The biggest critique in the survey responses was that brands overemphasize stereotypes and caricatures of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. In more favourable responses, people enjoy thoughtfully executed and creative marketing campaigns during past Pride months, such as from Skittles, Absolut Vodka and Nike ? citing how they seamlessly blend advertisement with a genuine effort for advocacy and inclusion. Nike ? citing how they seamlessly blend advertisement with a genuine effort for advocacy and inclusion.

"We expect and want brands to be allies to the community, which means being supportive outside of Pride Month, truly listening to our needs and making systemic changes that reflect that support. Allyship is often uncomfortable because you are aligning yourself with a group of folks who are not comfortable in society. When brands choose to neglect their support out of fear of receiving backlash, it damages the trust of the 2SLGBTQ+ community," said Calvin Campos, Founder of Calvin Campos Media, who spoke at a webinar UpHouse recently held. "The only way for change and liberation is to continue having the uncomfortable conversations. Show up. Apologize when you make a mistake. Take accountability. Change your actions. Allyship is not a destination. It is an ongoing practice and a commitment to showing up better every time you learn something new. Wherever you are on your allyship journey, this research is invaluable to brands and the ongoing practice towards supporting the 2SLGBTQ+ community."

Click here for downloadable media assets.

For questions about the research or Pride in Practice, please inquire with UpHouse here.

About UpHouse
UpHouse Inc. Is an award-winning, diverse-owned marketing and public relations agency. It is a certified diverse supplier through Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce and is B-Corp Certified. With the purpose to inspire the social consciousness of brands, UpHouse works with organizations to elevate messages that need to be heard. It works to reflect society not just as it is now, but how it should be, ensuring communications are always authentic, accessible and represent diverse audiences. 

SOURCE UpHouse Inc.

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