In 2019 Bubly sponsored a float for the NYC Pride Parade, but with this year’s parade canceled during the Coronavirus pandemic, the brand shifted its strategy. To reach consumers, Bubly created an entirely digital campaign, utilizing two leading social media platforms. Beginning in mid-June, Bubly fans can show off their parade walks on Instagram and TikTok using the hashtag #UnstoppablePride in their posts. Though TikTok is still considered an emerging platform, as noted in a Gartner report on the topic, the brand’s Gen-Z user base and colossal download growth during the pandemic make it ideal for Bubly’s campaign. Bubly originally planned to run the campaign beginning on June 4, but has since postponed the launch to give precedence to the social justice conversations taking over social media. Once the campaign begins, the brand plan’s to collect fan videos from both TikTok and Instagram and string them together to create the “longest virtual parade ever”, with a specially-made microsite streaming the entire “parade” on June 27.
By taking its campaign from the streets to the screens, Bubly can continue showing support for the LBGT community, as it’s done in the past, while engaging in social media conversations. The Unstoppable Pride campaign is benefiting GLAAD, the non-governmental LGBT media organization, which could further encourage fans to make parade videos. Bubly joins other brands pivoting to digital Pride campaigns, including NYX Cosmetics and Skittles. As more people interact through social media during the pandemic, virtual Pride celebrations could invite new audiences that brands may not have been able to reach through in-person parades.
The Coronavirus pandemic has opened up Pride marketing in a new way and brands are taking notice. Similar to Bubly’s new campaign, utilizing social media to connect with supporters across platforms and across the country could help brands strengthen community support during—and after—Pride month.