Unilever is telling stories from the five worst cities in the U.S. for LGBTQ+ people with five videos released this week, directed by filmmaker and activist Tourmaline and produced by agency Ranaverse.
It may sound a little grim, but the mini-documentaries about LGBTQ+ life in small Southern and Midwestern towns are actually quite upbeat. For example, Andy Sun, president of Pflag in Springfield, Missouri, near one of Unilever’s target regions, talks about joining the group to try “to be the hero I needed when I grew up.”
Unilever chose the five towns among 17 that rated zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index based on local laws, bullying incidents or other factors. The marketer of Dove, Axe and Seventh Generation turned to Ranaverse three years ago to find a more meaningful way to market around LGBTQ+ issues and is working with local groups in each town.
See Tourmaline’s video from Springfield, Missouri above and below from four other towns—Monroe, Louisiana; Moore, Oklahoma; Clemson, South Carolina; and Florence, Alabama. The town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri was originally one of the five intended for the campaign but was later replaced with Springfield.
Besides Pflag, Unilever is supporting local programs with local organization that include Forum for Equality, Freedom Oklahoma, South Carolina Black Pride and The Knights and Orchids Society.