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How do people feel toward brands’ communication for Pride Month in 2023?

July 31, 2023 | Author: Santiago Hernández

What the analysis of millions of digital conversations reveals about public sentiment towards brands’ campaigns for Pride Month.


Pride Month holds increasing significance for brands as an opportunity to showcase their support for the LGBTQ+ community. However, it has also become a time when brands jump on the rainbow bandwagon, potentially capitalizing on the growing trend of inclusivity and diversity. To understand how people really feel toward brands’ communication for Pride Month in 2023, we conducted an analysis of online public domain conversations to understand how public sentiment has evolved. Here is what we did and what we learned.

Conversations surrounding Pride Month increased notably over time. We mined 102.3K conversations centered around brand campaigns for Pride Month that occurred from July 2021 to June 2022. However, the real spike came in the following period from July 2022 to June 2023, where 2.3M public domain digital conversations took place. During this last period, Millennials lead the conversation with 657K online discussions, followed by Gen Z with 368K, Gen X with 299K, and Boomers with 178K conversations. There were also 248K conversations among people that self-identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Younger generations embrace Pride Month campaigns with open arms:

The social landscape is changing as younger generations, particularly Gen Z, are taking the lead in driving discussions surrounding Pride Month campaigns. For them, 3 out of 4 conversations about Pride are positive. Boomers and Gen X have the least positive, most negative, and most neutral attitudes. This suggests that they prefer to gather more information and actively participate in conversations before forming opinions. Interestingly, over the past 12 months, 37% of the conversations of Boomers are positive towards Pride brand campaigns and now show a similar sentiment profile as Gen X (39% in the past 12 months). Each day they are becoming more open to embracing those campaigns.

Conversation dynamics about Pride Month are shifting

The study reveals a remarkable shift in the nature of online conversations surrounding brand campaigns during Pride Month. In the last 12 months, the volume of neutral conversations (neutral conversations are when people come online to ask questions or answer questions about the topic of brand campaigns for Pride Month) decreased significantly from 28% to 16%. Simultaneously, negative conversations increased from 29% to 38%.

To what do we owe the shift? Now more than ever, people are coming online to express their views towards those campaigns rather than searching for information. This increased level of engagement and active participation only means one thing: Consumers are expressing their concerns, criticisms, and expectations more frequently with a burning desire for authentic and inclusive representation. They are no longer content with surface-level support and expect brands to genuinely align with and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.


There are varied perceptions within the LGBTQ+ community

It is essential to recognize that the LGBTQ+ community is not a monolith, but rather a diverse spectrum of individuals. This diversity extends to the way different sub-communities within the LGBTQ+ umbrella perceive and engage with brand campaigns during Pride Month. In the past 12 months, Gay and Lesbian communities have been 1.4 times more negative and critical of brand campaigns in comparison to the Trans community.

The Trans community may appreciate the visibility given in certain campaigns, such as Bud Light’s inclusion of trans brand ambassador Dylan Mulvaney. For this campaign we identified the trans community is 1.2 times more positive than the Gay and Lesbian community, with 72% of their conversations being positive. It is no longer acceptable for brand campaigns to resonate with just one audience. Communication strategies need to respect their core customers without alienating new audiences. This is particularly crucial during Pride Month when engaging with the LGBTQ+ community and its various sub-communities.

What can brands learn from people’s online conversations? within the LGBTQ+ community

Brands have the opportunity to listen, learn, and adapt their strategies to better engage with their audience during Pride Month. However, it’s important for brands to acknowledge that they will encounter a spectrum of reactions and opinions. No matter how carefully crafted a campaign or message may be, there will always be individuals who hold differing views or who may criticize the brand’s approach.

Rather than aiming for universal approval, brands should prioritize authenticity and sincerity in their communication. While targeting younger generations, especially Gen Z, might yield higher engagement and loyalty, it’s important for brands to approach their Pride Month campaigns with a broader perspective. Still, given that this demographic is the most positive towards these communications, brand campaigns during Pride will definitely resonate with them. Brands might also want to try to incorporate educational elements into their communications to help address the questions and concerns of older generations. Creating meaningful dialogue could enhance the brand’s perception among these groups, turning neutral conversations into positive conversations that move away from any confusion or prejudice.

The fact that younger generations and the Trans community are the most positive towards these communications highlights the importance of authenticity. Brands must move beyond surface-level campaigns and create sustained efforts that address the unique needs and experiences of each sub-community within the LGBTQ+ community. This could include donating to LGBTQ+ organizations, implementing inclusive workplace policies, and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights throughout the year.

When brands take the time to listen and empathize, they can craft messaging and initiatives that authentically align with the values and aspirations of their LGBTQ+ audience. By shifting their focus from the surface-level “what” to the deeper “why” behind these conversations, brands not only acknowledge every individual voice but also embrace and celebrate it.

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