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Fortune favours brave(r) brands

At the recent MediaShop Durban Media Landscape session entitled 'Content that Works' - which delved into brands creating more engaging and relevant content from most of what consumers are subjected to daily - a particular example of a how a brand proudly stood up for representation made me sit up and reaffirm some brand affinities held close to my chest.
Image credit: Coca-Cola Company.
Image credit: Coca-Cola Company.

Coca-Cola Brazil recently took the homophobic idiom ‘Essa Coca e Fanta’, which translates to ‘That Coke is a Fanta’, and turned it into an empowering campaign, filling cans of Coke with Fanta Orange. It was relevant, engaging, inclusive and purely organic – and it delivered one billion media impressions with zero media spend, turning one hurtful slur into a slogan of Pride.

Jumping on the Rainbow bandwagon

Brave right? With so many conservative groups lobbying against the LGBTQ+ community, only a big brand can be this brave; big enough to not injure their market share or upset their loyal conservatives right?

Well no, not really, with Pride Month just passed it seems that more and more brands, big and small, are jumping onto the Rainbow bandwagon to render support and connect with those that back the crusade.

They’re doing so by creating themed campaigns and merchandise and donating proceeds from sales to LGBTQ+ associations. Global examples of brands such as Magnum, Nike, DKNY, Uber and Tiffany & Co. demonstrate that brands from different genres can easily adapt to changing environments.

Even social media platforms are becoming more inclusive. Instagram has added new rings for users that use a Pride hashtag in their stories, Facebook has Pride-themed rainbow frames and filters and Snapchat tasked creators to design Pride-themed landmarks like the Flatiron building in New York.

Brands are seeing the impact of embracing this revolution as they grow loyalty and increase the return of investment by reaching out to one of the fasting growing markets that has a global buying power of almost $1trn.

Lucrative market

In October 2017, an LGBTQ+ Ad Format Effectiveness study was released completed in conjunction with Nielsen and a social media company that surveyed 800 LGBTQ+ participants. The study reconnoitred the efficacy of themed advertising to this market by comparing the effectiveness of inclusive marketing campaigns vs generic advertising from the same brands.

Fortune favours brave(r) brands

Granted, this study was executed off a small sample but the learnings are massive. Two crucial fundamentals are evident as noted by the co-founder and president of Sean Howell: “Buyer intent was 40% higher and willingness to recommend was 66% higher.”

Pride back home

Globally, we are seeing a change in advertising. And back home, brands are slowly gearing themselves up for the LGBTQ+ market. Examples include the Unheard Voices radio and digital campaign (2018), Chicken Licken’s “Dad I am …” (2019) and the very extra Harold courtesy of Netflorist.

Unfortunately, fear, ignorance and stigma are still the main contributors to brands not being fully inclusive but in a country as diverse as ours, representation of our rainbow nation should come easy.

Here’s a brand challenge for our marketers – be brave, be inclusive, be representative. Fortune favours it.

About Arisha Saroop

Arisha Saroop's story is a wonderful one. She joined The MediaShop's Durban team as the office's media receptionist and is now calling the shots as the Business Unit Manager. With experience in all ranks of the agency life, Arisha's years in the industry have been eventful, to say the least. But, as she says, the learning never stops and a new day brings with it new lessons and challenges.

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