It’s June, and that means LGBTQ+ Pride month is in full swing—with celebrations happening in practically every corner of the United States and in many countries around the world. And while the essence of Pride month means a little something different to every LGBTQ+ person and ally, it’s an opportunity to come together as a community to both celebrate diversity and inclusion and remind the world that LGBTQ+ rights are still very much under attack today.
At AdQuick, our mission is to empower everyone to put their message into the world by removing the barriers that once existed in the oftentimes complex out-of-home space. But this ethos of empowerment goes well beyond out-of-home (OOH) advertising alone.
We believe in equality above everything else—and we take pride in helping brands, businesses, non-profits, and academic institutions leverage the power of OOH advertising to share bold and inspirational messages of equality during Pride month and all year round.
So, now that we’re well into Pride month and have started to see some pretty great creative pop up around the country—much less after a two-year hiatus thanks to COVID—we thought we’d share a few of our favorites and also give you a few ideas for using OOH advertising in supportive and culturally-relevant ways to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride month in the future.
Read more > Learn more about the history of the LGBTQ+ Pride Movement
6 powerful and eye-catching LGBTQ+ Pride billboard ads
Need some inspiration for your LGBTQ+ Pride month out-of-home advertising campaign? Look no further. Here are six compelling billboard ads that caught our eye—for good reason!
Billboard 1: “Say Gay” (Folx Health)
This bold billboard takes a direct hit at the newly passed “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida—and other similar bills that are cropping up in various states—by advocating people to do just the opposite: Say Gay. The focus here, as the subheader clearly indicates, is all about advocating for the protection of LGBTQ+ rights, especially at a time when those rights have become cause for debate among conservative state legislatures around the country and even the Supreme Court.
Billboard 2: “Loud. Proud. Still Allowed.” (City of New York)
Similar to the “Say Gay” billboard above, this one here is a rebuttal of any legislation seeking to erase any recognition of LGBTQ+ people or culture from mainstream dialogue. Here, the City of New York, home to what many see as the epicenter of the LGBTQ+ right movement 50+ years ago, reminds LGBTQ+ people that “saying gay” will always be a part of the city’s cultural fabric.
Billboard 3: “Love Is Love”
This billboard showcases the new LGBTQ+ Pride flag, which in addition to the rainbow stripes we’ve grown to know over the years, now includes stripes representing people of color as well as transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender non-defined individuals. It’s overlaid by the message, “Love Is Love”: a mantra when gay marriage legislation was being tackled by the states—before eventually becoming national law by a Supreme Court ruling. Today, the message is about acceptance and tolerance that love can take on many (non-heteronormative) forms.
Billboard 4: “People Like You” (Reddit)
This is tech showing its support for the LGBTQ+ community at its very best. And if you’re a big fan of Reddit, you’ll love this billboard even more. In essence, this is a playful take on the traditional rainbow LGBTQ+ Pride flag, made up of subreddits covering various topics of interest for the LGBTQ+ community. Even more powerful is the headline, “Maybe you’ll find yourself among people like you,” which explains how Reddit users can use the platform to build community and forge bonds across shared interests and understanding.
Billboard 5: “Someone You Know” (PFLAG)
This billboard, created in collaboration between non-profit organizations Have A Gay Day and PFLAG (which was once an acronym for “Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays”), is directed predominantly at non-LGBTQ+ people. It first calls out that, whether they realize or not, there’s probably already someone among their friends, colleagues, and family who identifies as LGBTQ+. Then it goes one step further by reminding them that those people in their lives are important and that how they identify shouldn’t ever change that. Similar to the other billboards above, it conveys a message of acceptance and tolerance that aims to destigmatize perceptions about what it means to be LGBTQ+ in America today.
Billboard 6: “We Are All Human”
This non-branded billboard on bold display in Times Square says a lot of different things by simply using the words, “We are all human.” First, it’s a direct attack on any legislation aimed at dehumanizing or restricting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Second, it further underscores how, in many cases throughout American history, LGBTQ+ people has been seen as “second-class” citizens who didn’t deserve the same rights and freedoms of non-LGBTQ+ people. And finally, it’s a powerful message of unity that reinforces the simple fact that differences in either sexual orientation or gender identification do not make anyone less human.
4 create ways to be loud and proud with out-of-home advertising
Every LGBTQ+ Pride celebration around the world is a little different. However, in most cases, there’s typically a parade or march accompanied by street fairs, festivals, and all sorts of other outdoor activities. This unlocks tons of opportunities for using OOH ads in creative, yet thoughtful (read: not tone deaf) ways to create a festive and supportive atmosphere that, when done right, can truly amplifies the power of Pride Month.
It’s important to note, however, that the modern LGBTQ+ Pride movement has come under a bit of criticism in recent years for becoming too commercialized (aka, pinkwashing or rainbow washing) or, as some would put it, exploited by corporate interests. So, if your brand wants to be a part of the LGBTQ+ Pride conversation, it has to be 100% authentic. Anything less could be perceived as disingenuous and ultimately backfire—even if you had the best of intentions.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
Along the Parade Route
Oftentimes, LGBTQ+ Pride parades go through busy business districts that are dotted with billboards, bus shelters, wall scapes, park benches, and wild postings. And because it is summer, if you really want to make parade watchers and participants happy, you may also want to consider passing out branded water bottles (or cartons, if you’re aiming to be eco-friendly as well) to make sure people stay hydrated.
Simply put, what better way to align your brand with a messages of equality, diversity, and inclusivity than to put it in a place where sometimes hundreds of thousands of people come together for hours at a time. This has the potential to create an immersive experience that has a real impact—for your brand and the LGBTQ+ community.
Throughout the ‘Gayborhood’
First off, I’m using the term ‘Gayborhood’ in a harmless way to quickly and easily describe neighborhoods with a high concentration of LGBTQ+ residents, LGBTQ+ owned and operated businesses, as well as gyms, bars, stores, and restaurants that cater overwhelmingly to an LGBTQ+ (or LGBTQ+ friendly) population. These neighborhoods are not always along the parade route or, if they are, are much more expansive than the parade route alone.
Because Pride is a month-long celebration for the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S., this is a great opportunity to authentically make your mark in the places where LGBTQ+ people live and transact. But don’t fall prey to advertising only during Pride month if you want to resonate with an LGBTQ+ consumer. Instead, take a moment to understand who those customers are and what they care about—and use those insights to build campaigns within these neighborhoods all year long. Not only will it earn you the trust of the LGBTQ+ community, but it will also make your Pride-related efforts that much better.
All Over Public Transit
From ads within subways and in subway stations to taxi (or Uber car) toppers to bus wraps—and the list goes on—there’s no better way to get the message out about LGBTQ+ Pride month than to make sure everyone in a city experiences it in some way or another. While you’re at it, for people who might be flying in to celebrate local Pride festivities, why not take advantage of airport advertising, too?
The reason why this matters is because LGBTQ+ people don’t only live in the so-called ‘Gayborhoods.’ By broadcasting messages of equality and inclusivity across an entire city, you not only cast a wider net to reach LGBTQ+ people (and their straight allies) who live in various places, but you also bring a little element of Pride to them wherever they are.
Visibility matters within the LGBTQ+ rights movement. And it oftentimes matters even more for kids growing up in neighborhoods where coming out isn’t an option or where there aren’t any LGBTQ+ role models to look up to. Simply being present with your message of support in other “non-gay” part of a city can make a huge difference.
Take it to the Skies
Now, if you basically want everyone in a city to see your message loud and clear, you might want to consider skywriting—always a crowd pleaser and an unexpected surprise and delight moment during a Pride parade or a major Pride-related festivity. Or if you’re lucky enough to celebrate Pride next to the beach (or another body of water)—Long Beach, we’re looking at you—why not run boat ads or even hire those low-flying prop planes with banners blowing in the wind behind them. These tactics might not be things that initially come to mind when you think about OOH advertising, but depending on where a city’s Pride festivities take place, they can be really eye-catching and make quite an impact.
Show your support for the LGBTQ+ community with AdQuick
If you’ve been inspired by what you’ve seen and read here, just know that billboard ads are just the tip of the iceberg for how your brand or business can come out as a genuine ally of the LBGTQ+ community during Pride month and, hopefully, all year round.
AdQuick’s platform makes it easier than ever to plan, buy, and execute out-of-home advertising campaigns—across all OOH ad units imaginable—with precision and impact. Plus, our powerful, real-time analytics help to ensure your campaign’s a success every single time.
To start planning your next OOH ad campaign, schedule a demo today.