Spotify, SodaStream, Virgin Radio: Pride Month campaigns round-up

From branded clothing collections to themed music playlists, here are how some brands are marking Pride Month in June.

SodaStream

The home carbonation device manufacturer has released a video campaign starring Emmy-nominated actor and trans advocate Laverne Cox.

The film, 'Rainbow Story', stars Cox as a superhero taking viewers through key moments of her life, beginning with a live action sequence before it segues into animation. It shows the challenges that helped make her who she is today, taking part in major milestones for LGBTQI+ rights and celebrating her personal achievements.

The video ends with a message encouraging people to share their own 'rainbow story'.

SodaStream has released a special edition of its machine, the Rainbow Story Spirit range, to coincide with the activity. The product will be available via SodaStream’s website for £99.99, with all proceeds going to ILGA World, a global LGBTQI+ NGO that campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex human rights.

Spotify

The music streaming platform has announced a series of month-long activations under the title 'Claim your space'.

Spotify UK/IE is bringing back its annual Pride hub, where it collaborates with LGBTQIA+ creators, venues and culture brands to take over some of its most popular playlists. For example, Jamaican singer Alicai Harley is curating the DanceHall Queen playlist. There will be dedicated playlist within the Pride hub for four cities – London, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin – and four famous venues.

Other global initiatives include Pride Singles, where Spotify will work with queer artists Dua Saleh and Lido Pimienta to create a new set of Pride original recorded singles; and Social Share Cards, where users can express what Pride means to them on social media.

Hollister

The fashion brand from Abercrombie & Fitch, which is aimed at teens and young adults, has launched a gender-neutral Pride collection this month.

The collection has been co-created by student activists from GLSEN, a group promoting LGBTQ-inclusive environments in education. It features more than 40 Pride-themed styles, with products ranging from T-shirts and shorts to loungewear, swimwear, dresses and underwear.

To coincide with the launch, Hollister is donating $250,000 to GLSEN. The fashion brand has raised more than $3m for the organisation since 2017.

Kristin Scott, global brand president at Abercrombie & Fitch Co, said: “We are committed to making all teens feel confident and empowered in their own skin 365 days a year, but Pride is an especially important time for us to show our unconditional support for the LGBTQIA+ community. We were thrilled to partner with GLSEN students this year to dream up a collection that allows teens to celebrate the power of Pride in whichever way they feel most comfortable.”

Virgin Radio UK

Virgin Radio UK is launching Virgin Radio Pride UK, a station for the LGBTQ+ community, which will broadcast from 7 June until the end of September.

The broadcaster said Virgin Radio Pride UK will seek to reduce inequality by "addressing important issues in the core programming", working with LGBTQ+ partners to spark conversations on topics such as trans rights, gay adoption issues, living with HIV and helping parents understand LGBTQ+ issues.

The schedule will be driven by LGBTQ+ presenters including Tia Kofi, Matt Cain, Emma Goswell, Debbie Ryan, Phil Clifton, Shivani Dave, Vicki Blight and Stephen Sullivan. Virgin Radio UK said the station will also "bring to life Pride festivals around the UK", partnering local celebrations, including those in Blackpool and Oxford, to either amplify the existing event with outside broadcasts or help to replace cancelled events on air.

Partners for the new station include The Food Chain, the charity to ensure people living with HIV in London can access the nutrition they need; mental health charity Shout; the UK Aids Memorial Quilt Partnership; All About Trans, the project that aims to improve how the media understands and portrays transgender people; and The Log Books podcast.

Dickies

The workwear brand has launched a collection called Uniquely Yours, designed in partnership with LGBTQ creatives – Los Angeles-based Amber Ibarreche and London-based Rene Matić.

Matić said: “I am dedicating my T-shirt to the black queer community. It often feels like we can't stake a claim in the rainbow flag so the colours I've used reference the Pan-African flag. Pan Africanism fits perfectly with the 'Uniquely Yours' theme: it's about unity, collectivity and transmission, but also identity, individualism and pride.”

Alongside the collection, Dickies has donated to Switchboard, a UK crisis hotline dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ community, and The Trevor Project, a US-based organisation that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people.

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