Unapologetic Adidas stands up for LGBT rights

2016 is the year of diversity. Or is it?

The buzzword on everyone’s lips, we’ve already gone through the painful process of watching Oscars President Cheryl Boone Isaacs look nervous as an all-white cast of actors swooped across nomination lists for an awards ceremony taking place during America’s Black History Month. For this to happen twice and be shown up at the SAG Awards for how the nominations process should have been done, it’s not been easy. 

I don’t know what host Chris Rock has got planned, but a selfie it ain’t!

Marketing mastermind Beyoncé also dropped her provocative single Formation the day before the 50th Super Bowl, with a video to match – protesting against African-American oppression with regards to slavery, killings and government aid following Hurricane Katrina.

All this and we’re still in February! 

Beyoncé's new single Formation pulls no punches 
You would’ve thought that last Sunday people could’ve enjoyed Valentine’s Day for what it is – all about love. 

Brands have long been piggybacking off 14th February to win kudos with its customer base. From McVitie’s Cuddle Café and Match.com partnering with Starbucks in 2015, it’s light relief after what feels like a a long start to the year. 

So, when Adidas posted a picture on Instagram as part of its ‘I’m here to create’ campaign (which coincidentally targets the hell out of me on YouTube and Facebook), I wasn’t expecting a backlash.

The image of two women’s feet, donning Adidas kicks, on tip toes (implying that they’re about to kiss) was captioned: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Although it quickly generated 255,000 likes and positive sentiment, it was also met with homophobic comments. 
 Adidas Valentine's Day post caused a stir  

But, the brand wasn’t phased. Or, perhaps it was prepared for this type of reaction. It quickly shot back: “No, this day is for LOVE. Happy Valentine’s Day,” with a kiss emoji. 

How did they know emoji is the key to my heart? 

The fun didn’t stop there. When trolls threatened to shop at Nike, Adidas just waved them goodbye. 

As a keen runner who buys intofitness brands’ concepts, I’m already impressed. 

Fitness posts keep me connected to a community of runners, motivate me to do more and help me to feel good about myself. With so much kit out there, I’ve recently affiliated myself to Nike. But, this campaign reaction is enough to make me jump ship. 

Not many brands have been bold enough to publicise their stance on LGBT rights. Smirnoff did back in 2013 and Tiffany & Co launched a campaign last year. It won’t always be met by open arms, but with 89% of Millennials more likely to buy from companies that are active in ethical causes and mirror their own world view, we can expect to see more. 

Sitting on the fence doesn’t lead to sales, just splinters. 

We need diversity in every sense, not just race. So, let’s support the brands that are trying to make it a level playing field for all. 

Yours sincerely, 

A female, mixed race, country born, city living PR, marketing and social media blogger. 

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