UPDATE: June 18, 2020: Bubly has launched its #UnstoppablePride campaign, according to materials shared with Mobile Marketer. This story has been updated to reflect the launch, as well as the addition of The Center for Black Equity to the campaign's charitable partners.
UPDATE: June 4, 2020: This story has been updated to reflect that Bubly postponed the launch of its Pride campaign to later in June. In an email to Marketing Dive, a spokesperson said the brand has paused actively promoting the effort given the importance of "current conversations happening across America."
UPDATE: June 1, 2020: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect the campaign's launch date. It begins Thursday, June 4.
- Bubly is rallying social media users to join a virtual Pride parade as the coronavirus pandemic prevents the large public gatherings typical in past years. Beginning later this month, the PepsiCo brand of flavored seltzer will ask people to post their "best parade strut" on TikTok or Instagram Stories with the hashtag #UnstoppablePride, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Bubly will gather the videos and string them together as the "longest virtual parade ever" that will grow throughout the month at a microsite set up by the brand. Bubly will stream all the videos from its site at 12 p.m. ET on June 27.
- Every video helps to support Bubly's commitment to GLAAD, the non-governmental media monitoring organization founded by LGBT people, per its announcement. In addition to GLAAD, the campaign will also benefit The Center for Black Equity, an organization focused on LGBTQ people of African descent.
Bubly's virtual Pride parade comes as many people use social media to stay connected with the outside world during pandemic lockdowns that also have led to the cancelation of Pride events in many cities. Bubly has had to adapt its marketing to the current environment, a departure from last year's sponsorship of a float at the New York City Pride parade that featured singer Todrick Hall. By urging people to share Pride-themed videos on TikTok and Instagram, Bubly can show its support for the LGBT community while also participating in social media conversations.
PepsiCo has ramped up the marketing for Bubly since introducing the brand two years ago to appeal to more health-conscious consumers. The company aims to turn Bubly into its next billion-dollar brand with strong marketing support that has included campaigns featuring singer Michael Bublé, per Beverage Daily.
While PepsiCo doesn't report sales results for its individual brands, the company boosted overall sales by 7.7% to $13.9 billion in Q1 from a year earlier to beat analyst estimates, CNBC reported. The company also announced that it would be reducing nonessential advertising and marketing spend to due to the current environment while shifting investment to growth areas, including e-commerce.
PepsiCo's virtual Pride parade comes as other brands shift their marketing to online events for Pride month. NYX Professional Makeup this month is hosting a virtual Pride march on Instagram, asking users of the photo-sharing app to post pictures of themselves decorated with NYX's "Proud Allies" filter and using the #proudalliesforall hashtag. NYX plans to post all "Proud Allies" images among its social channels to celebrate the virtual march throughout June.
Pride-themed campaigns are effective among a broader group of consumers, showing how acceptance of LGBTQ has grown, a recent study suggests. Eighty percent of respondents exposed to LGBTQ-inclusive media said they are more supportive of equal rights compared to those who had not recently consumed such media, per research by media advocacy group GLAAD in partnership with Procter & Gamble. The report urges brands to be more inclusive approach in their outreach strategies, while using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to address LGBTQ issues in their marketing.
After pausing the campaign due to "current conversations happening across America" — likely a reference to the current environment around race in America — Bubly added The Center for Black Equity to its charitable partners, acknowledging the role that "Black and Latinx Trans and Lesbian women" played in the foundation of the LGBTQ+ community, according to the press release.