- Vizzy Hard Seltzer is teaming with drag queen Priyanka to launch an initiative around increasing LGBTQ+ visibility in the arts, per a press release. Priyanka will serve as community impact director, focusing the program on Canada's LGBT population.
- The #Vizzybility Project will highlight four LGBTQ+ artists by awarding them grants valued at $35,000, which include $5,000 cash, mentorship with Priyanka and national visibility placements in mass media for art projects. The program is part of the Molson Coors brand's larger effort to support LGBTQ+ communities, including a partnership with education group Queer Collective and a pledge to invest more than $1 million this year to support underrepresented artists.
- Vizzy's new program aims to elevate a community who has largely been left out of mass advertising. As the brand tries to break into the Canadian hard seltzer market, its greater initiative mirrors those of other brands hoping to reach young, open-minded consumers.
Vizzy is introducing itself to Canada with an effort to raise the voices of the country's LGBTQ+ artists. By partnering with Priyanka, an Ontario-born drag queen and winner of the first season of "Canada's Drag Race" in 2020, the brand aims to bring a higher level of visibility to creators who have long been misrepresented and underrepresented by mass media, including advertisers. Despite 13% of Canadians identifying as being part of the LGBT community, per a 2017 survey by advocacy group Fondation Jasmin Roy, 39% of the cohort feel they are represented poorly in the media, and 69% say they want to see less stereotypical portrayals, according to Mindshare Canada research cited by Vizzy.
On the other side of the screen, advertisers appear hesitant to change their ways, with 78% agreeing that "it is difficult to adequately represent the LGBTQ community because [it] is complicated and has many nuances," and 81% saying "an inauthentic execution of LGBTQ people and scenarios would lead to a larger backlash than not featuring them in ads at all," per a study conducted by P&G and GLAAD earlier this year. These findings reflect a pressing dilemma in the marketing industry, and one that Vizzy could elucidate through its visibility program.
Beyond bringing heightened representation to four artists, Vizzy is also pledging $1 million in general support for underrepresented artists, as well as partnering with Queer Collective, a Toronto nonprofit providing representation for all LGBTQ+ subgroups. These additional efforts bolster Vizzy's campaign and drive home the authenticity of its stance, an issue that is becoming increasingly important to consumers.
As Vizzy seeks to break into the Canadian market, its initiative mirrors those of other brands appealing to young, more socially engaged consumers. PepsiCo's Lifewtr teamed with Issa Rae in April to promote diversity in the arts, while Coors Seltzer pledged to save 87 million gallons of water last October to amplify its sustainability efforts. Hard seltzer brands in particular will likely need to follow suit to meet the open-mindedness of young consumers, considering they make up a core of their base.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the details of the #Vizzybility Project grant. It is valued at $35,000, including $5,000 cash.