In May of 2013, Brazil’s National Council of Justice ruled that same-sex couples should not be denied marriage licenses, allowing same-sex marriages to begin nationwide. According to a 2016 study released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the number of same-sex marriages in Brazil grew by 15.7% from 2014-15; that is five times more than that of straight marriages, which grew a mere 2.7%.

As Brazilians become more tolerant and open-minded, brands would benefit from catering to LGBTQ communities and those that support them, either by launching products that promote certain ideals, advocating for equality through targeted campaigns or simply adjusting existing campaigns to feature LGBTQ people. To that end, Mintel Trend ‘Serving the Underserved’ explores how consumers who have been underrepresented in the past are getting a greater voice.

Food and drink brands support local LGBTQ communities

Every year, Brazil hosts several Gay Prides throughout the country, and this year, the 21st São Paulo Gay Pride Parade – the biggest Pride parade in the world – is taking place on 18th June. For the second consecutive year, beer brand Skol (owned by Ambev) is one of the main event sponsors. To commemorate this year’s celebration, the brand launched a special edition of its 269ml can. The packaging features a rainbow version of the Skol arrow logo to represent the colors of the LGBT flag. On top of that, a portion of the sales will go to Casa 1, a shelter for youths expelled from their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Doritos also launched a special edition bag of rainbow crips to campaign for gender inclusion and support diversity. The idea started back in 2015 in the United States and has now arrived in Brazil. Sales of the limited edition crisps will also go towards Casa 1.

Ben & Jerry’s has also been a very active brand fighting for social causes, especially for LGBTQ issues. Earlier this year, Ben & Jerry’s donated a full days’ profits from the sale of their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream to Casa 1. For the occasion, the flavor got a new name, “I Dough, I Dough” (a reference to the English expression “I do”).

For Pride 2016, Skol also launched an advertisement aimed at promoting respect and acceptance of people’s differences. The ad, with only music and no beer references, featured individuals who walked together to protect themselves from threatening looks and attitudes. In the same year, Budweiser also challenged the stereotypes of beer adverts and included a woman boxer, an overweight woman wearing only lingerie, a tattooed middle-aged man, and a kiss shared between two men.

Beauty brands embrace diversity

The year 2016 was a significant one for Brazilian beauty brands; for the first time ever, big name brands included members of the LGBTQ community in their campaigns. Indeed, while the Brazilian drag queen Pabllo Vittar was the star of Avon‘s campaign “Louca por Cores” (Crazy about Colors), Brazilian transgender woman Valentina Sampaio starred in L’Oréal‘s advert for International Women’s Day. According to Mintel’s Marketing to the Middle Classes Brazil 2015 report, three in 20 consumers said that adverts should better represent the diversity in Brazil.

Avon’s campaign for its Matte Color Trend BB cream also celebrates all the colors of the LGBT rainbow. The spot was created by Mutato for Gay Pride in 2016 and featured a number of LGBT and Black individuals wearing Avon make-up, dancing to the beat of a catchy Tropkillaz song. The commercial features the Brazilian singer Liniker alongside Jessica Tauane from the YouTube channel Canal das Bees, which aims to fight homophobia and discrimination.

What we think

Adopting pro-LGBT adverts and campaigns should be a no-brainer for progressive brands. Despite recent advances, the LGBT community still faces widespread discrimination, highlighting a need for consumers to call for further inclusivity. Many consumers are also choosing to support companies and brands based on their ethical actions. According to Mintel research, a third of Brazilians prefer to buy from brands that are involved with social causes.

With both the LGBT and straight communities increasingly stepping up and advocating for inclusivity and equality, it’s important that brands explore how they can offer their support. Brands have an opportunity to be forward-thinking; creating and implementing such practices is a way to show respect, acceptance and justice for all.

Happy Pride!

Andre joined Mintel in April 2014 as a Research Analyst to work on the Emerging Markets team. He is responsible for the development of reports and analysis of the Brazilian market. He previously worked for IBOPE, one of the leading research institutes in Latin America, focusing on media research.

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