Marketing the Rainbow
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In 2019, they released rainbow tennis shoes to join the celebration of LGBT Pride month and thus invited you to put yourself in the “shoes” of others and attend the march on June 29 in Mexico City for them. "This way, on the day that inclusion is celebrated, we will also be able to include all those young people who, for different reasons, cannot walk with us today," the company said in a statement.
The tennis shoes were made in Mexico with eco-friendly materials and recycled PET plastic, and were only available through Amazon . The design of the tennis shoes was inspired by the Pride flag and on the back they had one of the following six names engraved, which refer to the protagonists of six stories that they represent:
In the statement, the company states that "through this initiative, Sprite wants to share with young people who are thinking about coming out that they are not alone and that they are also part of our Pride."
All funds raised from the sale of the tennis shoes was donated to the It Gets Better Foundation Mexico.
Sprite marched in the Pride Parade in Lima, Peru in 2019. They produced special bottles for the occasion.
Those attending the march received the bottle of Sprite during the tour of the Historic Center of Lima.
Coca-Cola was one of the 25 Peruvian companies that set up the Pride Connection Peru network in 2018. This network seeks to guarantee more inclusive spaces for the LGTB+ community. “Inclusion is one of Coca-Cola's core values, and as part of Pride Connection we participate in this important event, the Pride March, ”explained Patricia Campos, Human Resources Manager at Coca-Cola Peru.
Sprite is a colorless, lemon and lime-flavored soft drink created by The Coca-Cola Company. It was first developed in West Germany in 1959 as Fanta Klare Zitrone ("Clear Lemon Fanta") and was introduced in the United States under the current brand name Sprite in 1961 as a competitor to 7 Up. Sprite comes in multiple flavours, including cranberry, cherry, grape, orange and vanilla.
Coca-Cola has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index since the index launched in 2006.
In 2020, when real Pride Parades were cancelled worldwide, Sprite released virtual costumes to be worn in the Nintendo game "Animal Crossing: New Horizons": Outfits del Orgullo.
Sprite became the first Coca-Cola brand to use Animal Crossing to interact with its audience and the first brand in Latin America to use it as a means of communication with Generation Z.
This idea was developed by communication agency Only If: “We realized that this video game has become a safe and free space for LGBT+ youth during the pandemic because they have to be with their families 24/7 and not everyone is accepted as they are. So just like Sprite we wanted to remind them that the brand is with them."
This was the third consecutive year that Sprite showed its support for LGBT+ youth, and helped them through It Gets Better Mexico.
To commemorate 2018 Pride, Sprite created a special limited edition can sporting a Pride-related pun - Spride - and the rainbow flag integrated into the brand's traditional can design. The soda was not on general sale, but given out for free exclusively at Mexico City's Pride Parade.
The Spride campaign was very successful: it became the most remembered brand from the event. There were over 350 million imprints on social media, $8 million worth of free publicity, and it was mentioned in/on 210 international blogs and websites.
For 2019 Pride in Buenos Aires, Sprite made a very moving video. It shows families supporting and helping their queer loved ones get ready for the big parade. The camera focuses on the faces of these families, you can really see the love that’s shared between these people. The commercial was posted on Sprite Argentina’s Twitter. Gerry & The Pacemakers' “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the musical Carousel plays over the whole commercial.
This clip was part of the campaign #NoEstasSolx (you are not alone). It featured a series of youngsters, who feel like outcasts. The commercial wanted to encourage them to share their personal experiences online. The campaign, created by the Argentinian marketing company Santo, launched on Oct. 9 on Twitter for Sprite, in partnership with social media platform Reddit. The series of videos includes girls with small breasts, a group of obese young men with breasts, Millennials who do not like to go out to party, youngsters who never kissed before, and other people who think they are 'unusual'. Sprite tells them they are not alone.
It ends with the slogan “Pride: What you feel when someone you love chooses to be happy”, followed by “No Estas Solx,” which means “You’re not alone.”
The digital banners for the different groups can be seen here.
The 2019 Buenos Aires Pride event was the city’s 28th, growing from just about 300 people in 1992, to over 300,000 that year.
In 2019, Argentinean agency Santo developed the global campaign "I Love You, Hater". This Sprite commercial was a sign of the times. After the wave of #MeToo, BLM and "It Gets Better", as well as the hurricane that erupted after Gillette's "toxic masculinity" commercial, Sprite used real life comments that bullied people who are 'different'. A male pole dancer, a guy with a freckled face, an overweight diver and a skinny surfer, a rapper, a female football player, a girl with braces and two guys participating in a Pride Parade. The answer is love, while "All You Need Is Love" plays in the background. "It's Haters season. Stay fresh."
The campaign rolled out across print, TV, out of home, online and social media. It resulted in 1.5 billion (!) impressions, 65 million organic reach on twitter, 363% earned media (free publicity), more than 3,000 articles worldwide and as #1 trending topic in 3 countries.
In Chile (and Argentina), as part of the #ILoveYouHater campaign, an advertisement in which a couple of boys are embracing, and looking into each other's eyes was installed in subway stations, in other public places and on transport vehicles. Next to the photograph was the text: “It doesn't matter what they say. Stay cool."
As part of the #ILOVEYOUHATER campaign, Sprite wanted to engage with their teenage target audience by being relevant and creating a one-of-a-kind experience. They decided to conduct a social experiment by bringing a real hater face to face with his victims. They filmed the encounter and distributed the three-minute video across the most relevant digital media channels for our target: YouTube and social media platforms.
They also released a moving behind the scenes video.
As part of the campaign, 'It’s haters season. Stay fresh,' Sprite launched a series of videos in which music bands and social media influencers sang songs composed from their haters’ comments. The movement was created by Elise Ecklund, who also featured in the campaign, along with famous Latin American musicians Tini Stoessel, Agapornis, Rombai and others.
Where the mother brand had an early start in Marketing the Rainbow, Sprite did not do anything in this field until about 3 years ago. And then, most of the campaigns are limited to the Spanish speaking Americas.
This article was last updated Oct 28, 2022.
Mother Coca-Cola has had a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index since the index launched in 2006 (Sprite is not rated separately). Sprite was VERY late to the game of
Marketing the Rainbow, and mainly limited their relevant communications to part of South America - only to expand to Europe in 2019. They made some very authentic and impressive campaigns, that gained a lot of traction. I rate Sprite 7.5/10.
Special versions with local heroes were made for several markets, like Latin America, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia and Poland.
They released a few videos in Mexico in support of the LGBT community, in particular the charity It Gets Better Mexico. The special shoes from 2019 also featured in them.