Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love & PRIDE
By Anna Peachey, Richard McDermott & Holly Wilson
Brands taking a stand is the new normal. Consumers are increasingly demanding more transparency from their brands and are keen to know a company’s stance on political or social issues. According to YouGov, 48% of people say they are more likely to buy from a brand if they express a view they agree with in advertisements, going up to 59% for 18-34 year olds.
Allyship isn’t an end destination, and perfection isn’t the goal. According to Forbes an ally ‘actively promotes and aspires to advance the culture of inclusion through intentional, positive and conscious efforts.’ Consumers want people with privilege -whether that’s an individual or a brand with a large audience- to show up and speak up, to use their platform to advocate for marginalised or underrepresented communities.
In 2018, Colin Kaepernick -the NFL player who originated the taking the knee protest against racism and police brutality in the US- found himself edged out of the league due to alleged fears from NFL bosses that this gesture of protest was too polarising for fans.
Enter Nike with a powerful display of allyship. Partnering with Kaepernick, they released a television advert with the central message: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.” The advert prompted condemnation from Donald Trump, brand boycotts and public destruction of Nike goods. After an initial drop in sales, consumers soon got behind Nike and sales soared by 31% in the days following the release. Nike chose a defiant stance, and consumers got behind them to send a display of solidarity.
With its Bohemian values of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love, Moulin Rouge! The Musical can truly own the statement “Everyone is Welcome Here”. So when it comes to championing social inclusivity and diversity, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and PRIDE are the perfect fit.
This year, Moulin Rouge! The Musical was passionate about amplifying the PRIDE message with a fully rounded campaign moment, one that ended up touching all parts of the agency.
The starting point was the addition of a fifth Bohemian value – ‘PRIDE’ – to its original four core values. This was then coupled with a core message from the show itself: “Everyone Is Welcome Here”. By then blending stylistic pillars of the Moulin Rouge! The Musical branding with the core PRIDE rainbow colours, these two key messages made for a striking and artful campaign throughout PRIDE Month.
This was kickstarted by the installation of the PRIDE front of house, which updated the below-canopy and canopy-edge panels to carry the core values and key statement. Together they delivered an honest and eye-catching message to vast numbers of passers-by, only metres from the heart of Soho.
At the core of the PRIDE front of house installation was the PRIDE Love Lock gate. Launched in a video by Baz Luhrmann on the Moulin Rouge! The Musical social channels, this initiative encouraged audiences to celebrate love by attaching their own padlocks and messages to the gate at the side of the Piccadilly.
It was important to ensure that no campaign activity could be considered mere surface-level or rainbow-washing. Activity either needed to celebrate, be a commitment to inclusivity, or raise funds for our partner LGBTQ+ charity; akt. Akt supports young people who are facing homelessness, helping them find safe homes and employment. Alongside bucket collections at the Piccadilly Theatre, L’amour t-shirts were sold online and front of house, with all proceeds going to akt.
Activity continued throughout June, including presence at the Mighty Hoopla festival, and on social channels where LGBTQIA+ members of the company shared their own personal love stories and spoke about what PRIDE means to them. With PRIDE in London last weekend, we wanted to make sure Moulin Rouge! The Musical was a visible ally. Temporary tattoos of the bohemian values and PRIDE flag were designed and distributed alongside L’amour fans, whilst digital 6-sheets were also live at key locations in central London over the weekend, primarily ones close to the parade route and at important transport hubs for those travelling into London for the event.
Here at Dewynters we are proud to have partnered with our client Moulin Rouge! The Musical on this PRIDE campaign and look forward to supporting them in their ongoing allyship to the LGBTQIA+ community.