- Skittles has teamed with author, historian and activist Blair Imani to promote LGBTQ visibility during Pride month, per a press release. ICF Next was the agency on the project, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
- The focus of the effort is around murals painted by LGBTQ artists that feature what the brand is calling QueeR Codes: QR codes that redirect consumers to a website featuring content about the artists and Pride. The brand also teamed with five LGBTQ influencers to showcase personal stories about drag performance, sign language performance, music, dance and makeup artistry.
- The QueeR Codes program follows the return of the brand's limited-edition Pride Packs, which feature gray packaging and candies. In June, $1 per pack — and up to $100,000 total — will be donated to GLAAD, which is also providing resources for the QueeR Codes website.
The latest Pride-themed effort from Skittles seeks to use the brand's platform and packaging to spotlight and support the LGBTQ community in a variety of ways. The brand can engage with consumers in different markets with its murals in Newark, New Jersey; Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and San Antonio, Texas, delivering stories from the artists, content about Pride and resources from GLAAD about how members of the LGBTQ community and their allies can support the community.
"We're very proud to be able to use our voice and our platform to shift the focus during Pride month to celebrating and elevating LGBTQ+ voices and experiences, creating better moments and more smiles through the focus on visibility," Fernando Rodrigues, senior brand manager at Mars Wrigley, said in the press release.
Along with its Pride-focused website, Skittles can amplify the effort with its partnerships with influencers, including Blair Imani, an author, historian and activist who identifies as a Black, bisexual and Muslim woman and noted the importance of education about intersectionality and visibility in press materials.
Skittles' Pride efforts also include the return of grayscale Pride Packs for the second year in a row. The brand launched the packaging last year as a way to shift focus from its typically rainbow-colored candy to the rainbow-colored pride flag, with labeling that reads, "Only one rainbow matters during Pride." The donation to GLAAD can help push back against claims of woke-washing, or specifically rainbow-washing, that have plagued brands that have launched purpose-driven campaigns without delivering real support.
The QueeR Codes program follows similar Pride month efforts by other marketers. McDonald's launched a multichannel campaign in support of the LGBTQ community, while H&M is sharing stories from LGBTQ people using a web-based scanner app that detects rainbow patterns. Last month, P&G teamed with GLAAD on an initiative that seeks to help advertisers and agencies develop more authentic and inclusive messaging strategies.
QR codes have seen a resurgence as code readers have become standard on smartphones and as the coronavirus pandemic has increased demand for contactless experiences. Brands including Pizza Hut and Molson Coors have utilized the technology in recent months.