Yesterday marked the end of a very special Pride month as this year marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots (catalysis of the fight for freedom and rights for the LGBTQ+ community). This event is celebrated worldwide, with Pride Parades happening everywhere including the USA, Canada, Ukraine, Mexico, North Macedonia, South Korea and many other countries.
However, in this article, we pay special attention to the largest of the Pride Parade, where the Stonewall riots occurred, that is, New York City. Huge brands including Axe Body Spray, Morphe, Versace, Deutsche Bank and Macy’s showed their unwavering support at the March city-wide and artists like Lady Gaga and Madonna headlined at the Pride Island that night.
To see the influential scale of #Pride2019, I did a social listening analysis on the biggest hashtags for this year’s Pride month which are: #PRIDE2019, #STONEWALL50 and #PRIDEMONTH2019. The period of reviewing is also set from June 1 to July 1 2019.
The 3 tags reached 280.2 million people, garnered 7.6 million likes and 219.3k comments, and at least 34.1k influencers talked about it.
While the hashtags were used throughout the year, there were 52,300 posts in June itself, making up for over 90% of the total generated posts with any of these hashtags.
While the engagement rates average at 3.36% over May and June 2019, there was a sudden spike to almost 20% at the end of June, when the bulk of Pride Parade preparation, as well as when the parade happened.
The magnitude, of 34.1k influencers who spoke about Pride and more than 56,000 posts for just this year’s anniversary surely speaks volumes about the cultural significance of Pride month, especially in today’s world where most people express their thoughts and ideas through social media platforms like Instagram.
One of these expressions is the post above, where @lgbtq takes its following of 154k back to the root of everything, which is the stonewall inn and many people were there in memorial of the riot that rippled into this huge wave of change.
While the topic about brand’s authenticity is hotly debated upon, especially as many have been called out for merely jumping unto the bandwagon to reap economic benefits, here are a few brands who really walked the talk and also understood the cultural essence of Pride.
Axe’s parent company Unilever is already sponsoring the 2019 Worldwide Pride in New York City so that itself is telling of how supportive the brand is. However, Axe took it one step further by partnering with Tommy Dorfman (from 13 Reasons Why) and marching with the Anti-Violence Project, a leading New York-based charity founded to offer direct support and counselling services to LGBTQ+ people who experience hate crimes and/or violence.
In this video, the team of Axe employees as well as volunteers at the Anti-Violence Project are in high spirits while marching down New York. They were even giving out free Axe Body Sprays:
Versace was also not playing games at the Pride Parade this year. Donatella Versace herself was at the parade as an ambassador:
View this post on Instagram
I’m truly honored to become a Stonewall Ambassador and so excited to be coming to New York for World #Pride and celebrate #StonewallDay! 🏳️🌈 . Join me in supporting the initiative that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and continues to fight for full #LGBTQ + equality. 🌈💪🏼 #stonewall50 #StoneWallAmbassadors #PrideLive @PrideLiveOfficial
@Donatella_versace was the top performing influencer at the event, with 5 posts each averaging 77.3k likes and 3.7k comments. @Versace was not far behind too, at 4th place, with an average of 69.1k likes and 1.7k comments on 3 posts published for the event.
The Brand’s float was a homage to the Stonewall riots, with the red brick wallpaper (pictured right side) and the signboard of the bar as the backdrop. Donatella was at the front, with her brand ambassadors from the LGBTQ+ community. This was most definitely authentic and respect to ‘where Pride began’ (quote on the left side of the float).
Morphe is a makeup brand that held onto their support for the LGBTQ+ community. They first released a limited edition Pride month palette and brush set (of which all proceeds go to The Trevor Project).
This hugely popular and very versatile palette was a hot favourite for all as all 4 top posts (in the last 3 months) by @morphebrushes are about the featured palette.
They also worked with The Trevor Project (who was the grand marshalls of the Pride Parade) to bring brand representatives to walk with their fellow sisters and brothers at the event yesterday and brought makeup artist influencers from the LGBTQ+ community like James Charles and Napoleon Jinnies to empower crowds of people and spice up the party:
I don’t know about you, but Pride really had a worldwide influence and even for businesses who really supported the cause. The march itself was so overwhelming and emotional that I’m sure it touched the hearts of all who were there and hopefully, more to come down the road.
While this rounds up the whole of Pride month, I must say that this is only the beginning of a bigger change in terms of acceptance and understanding in society and I can’t wait for what is to come next year.
For an influencer analysis, click here~.