- Ikea this month is putting on a virtual Instagram gathering to promote equality and LGBT inclusion. The home furnishings retailer's "I-Kiki" event will be hosted by LGBT influencers Alyssa Edwards and Isis King via Instagram Live, the app's livestreaming platform, at 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 22, per an announcement.
- As part of the discussion about diversity and inclusion, Edwards and King will play "Spill the Tea or Take the D (as in Dare, of course)" to share their personal experiences of finding a place in the world and making others feel welcome. Instagram users can see the event on Edwards' @alyssaedwards_1 and King's @msisisking accounts.
- Ikea is hosting the livestreamed event, which was developed with agency Ogilvy New York, during its campaign to raise money for LGBT charity groups. From June 1 to Aug. 31, the retailer is donating 30% of sales from its rainbow-colored Storstomma reusable shopping bags to the Ali Forney Center in New York and the Los Angeles LGBT Center for a total of up to $50,00 for each group.
Ikea's "I-Kiki" livestreamed event is part of the retailer's broader efforts to promote diversity and inclusion for the LGBT community. "Kiki" is a slang term to describe a social gathering for "kicking back" and grew out of Black American gay subculture, as depicted in a 2017 documentary by the same name. By hosting the event on Instagram Live, the retailer can reach a mass audience among Instagram's more than 1 billion users worldwide.
Ikea's efforts to promote diversity include last year's redesign of its shopping bags with rainbow-colored stripes for Pride Month, which is observed in June. At that time, the company partnered with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to support its programs for LGBTQ children, youth and families. In 1994, Ikea claims it became the first company to air a national TV spot that featured a gay couple, showing two men shopping for a dining room table at a store.
Ikea is among the companies that have promoted LGBT inclusion in recent campaigns, mostly timed with Pride Month. The cause-driven efforts are likely to resonate with younger consumers who are heavy users of social media apps like Instagram and who are more conscious of issues around gender and sexuality, according to a study by Pew Research Center.
Back in June, Chipotle Mexican Grill observed Pride Month with a similar "Lunch & Listen" session led by influencers on its TikTok page. For every viewer who watched the event on TikTok Live, Chipotle gave $1 to a group that supports Black gay pride organizers. Global Pride, a collaboration of Pride organizations, also hosted a virtual Pride festival in Nintendo's hit social simulation game "Animal Crossing" and showed related festivities on Twitch, the livestreaming platform owned by Amazon.