- Truly Hard Seltzer is taking over the Times Square billboard to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the New York City Pride March, which has been canceled this year due to the pandemic, the company shared with Marketing Dive via press release.
- Fans are encouraged to submit photos of how they are celebrating Pride month with Truly on social media with the hashtag #TrulyPride to be considered for inclusion on the billboard. The campaign includes a content series in which Truly will share 16 stories — one for each of its flavors — throughout June.
- The Boston Beer Company seltzer is teaming up with nonprofit GLAAD and donating $100,000 to the organization to support ongoing initiatives. Together, they will present the "Truly Proud" content series to address workplace discrimination.
The NYC Pride March is an institution in the city and is usually a large platform for brands to show their inclusivity and support of the LGBTQ community.
Brands are looking for ways to connect with consumers around the significant milestone of the parade's 50th year and not let coronavirus-related cancelations put a damper on the meaning of the celebration. Truly's social media and out-of-home (OOH) integration offers a chance for people to tell their stories and connect about their experiences in a public forum, which may also help the seltzer brand position itself as supportive of many consumers' social values.
Even as most are still following stay-at-home orders in New York, people are allowed out to take walks and visit Times Square. This campaign has an opportunity to be highly visible and shared again on social media by passersby who see the billboard. Meanwhile, Truly's partnership with GLAAD demonstrates the brand taking real action to support a nonprofit and the community instead of simply depicting LGBTQ stories in its marketing.
Without a parade, many brands this year are scrambling to figure out how to honor Pride Month. NYX Professional Makeup plans to host the first virtual Pride march on Instagram. The march is part of the L'Oréal-owned brand's "Proud Allies for All" initiative to educate people about supporting the LGBT community.
However, when brands fly the rainbow flag of support, they must tread carefully as to not be perceived as using this as a marketing ploy. A YouGov study from last year found that 46% of consumers said that seeing an ad with an LGBTQ-friendly message wouldn't make them more or less likely to purchase a product. At the same time, representation of LGBTQ people in media, including advertising, plays a significant role in growing acceptance among non-LGBTQ consumers, according to a recent study by GLAAD that was published by P&G.