Brands and PRIDE: Key Takeaways to Avoid Rainbow Washing


Increasingly, brands participate in the Pride movement to express support for the LGBTQ+ community, especially in June, Pride Month. However, they often fall into the trap of "Rainbow Washing", a practice involving symbolic use of rainbow colors and support for the LGBTQ+ community only during this month, without sustained commitment throughout the year.

Rainbow Washing can take many forms such as launching Pride products without donating profits to LGBTQ+ organizations, temporarily changing the brand logo to rainbow colors, sponsoring Pride events without inclusive policies, among others. Some real examples include well-known brands like H&M, Chick-fil-A, Uber, and Budweiser.

Avoiding Rainbow Washing demands a genuine and continuous commitment to diversity and inclusion. Brands should support the LGBTQ+ community year-round, make tangible organizational changes, foster non-discrimination, provide financial support to LGBTQ+ organizations, maintain message consistency, and be open to learning and making improvements.

Key Questions before creating a PRIDE campaign

Is the brand aiming to be a spokesperson for LGBTQ+ rights? How will it do so? Only in Pride Month or throughout the year?

Consider the full value chain. Before making a social media post, can we ensure that our suppliers and markets comply with the diversity policies we aspire to communicate?

If we are inclusive internally, can we go further? What impact does our product have in creating a more diverse world? Perhaps the product can serve as a means to educate and create bonds between consumers and social organizations fighting for rights.

Involve the LGBTQ+ community: Include LGBTQ+ voices in your campaign planning and execution. They could be employees, customers, or LGBTQ+ partners. Their experiences and insights are invaluable.

Do we understand the true meaning of pride? Pride is not just a celebration; it's a protest and a reminder of a fight for rights and acceptance. Ensure campaigns reflect this understanding.

Is the campaign itself being created inclusively? The LGBTQ+ community is incredibly diverse. The campaign should respect and celebrate all identities within the community, not just the most visible ones.

The Unilever Case

Unilever, committed to LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion, implemented a disruptive strategy for the launch of its new product, Magnum Ruby, in Mexico. The company collaborates both internally and with anti-homophobia organizations like It Gets Better, promoting initiatives and ideas for inclusive management.

The goal was to introduce Magnum Ruby, the first ice cream covered in ruby chocolate, highlighting its innovation and establishing an emotional connection with consumers through an inclusive narrative.

After a detailed audience research, the creative team at InPulse Digital developed the concept that can be translated to "The Pleasure of the First Time". This approach combined the experience of trying ruby chocolate for the first time with people's desire to experience more in a post-covid world, challenging stereotypes.

Magnum Ruby was positioned as a catalyst for those willing to enjoy and reveal their true selves to the world for the first time.

The choice of the brand representative was crucial. María León, singer and actress turned activist for women's and LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion, was selected as the brand ambassador, perfectly embodying the right to feel "The Pleasure of the First Time".




Brand participation in PRIDE must be more than just a logo or a social media message. It requires genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion, first within the organization and then externally. Brands need to be aware of their product's impact on people's lives and their responsibility in driving positive societal change.

Share this post

lnkedin share

From the blog

All posts