Brands are participating in Pride more than ever, but there’s a fine line between showing support and commodifying a cultural movement, or at least appearing to do so. With this year’s WorldPride being billed as the world’s largest Pride celebration and millions of people attending the event in New York, which itself will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, marketers are on the offensive. In some cases, literally.
Every June, it can seem like every brand flies their rainbow flags only to put them away for the rest of the year. We’ve compiled the branding, ads and messages that either missed the mark or just felt off this year, with a couple strong standouts from Pride ghosts of years past. Customers are getting woke to woke-washing, and these brands failed to come to the table in a way that felt authentic:
Kohl's product photography fail
Kohl’s is selling Pride merchandise online but began doing so without using same-sex couples in their product images, as @ManVsPink points out on Twitter. Since the tweet was posted, the product page has been updated with two images featuring a same-sex couple, and a note on the page points out that Kohl’s is donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project focused on suicide prevention in the LGBTQ+ community.