Happy Pride Month!

How Top Brands Are Balancing Celebration and Backlash

In recent years, Pride Month has been a celebration of LGBTQ+ rights, love, and visibility. National brands have traditionally joined the festivities by rolling out colorful merchandise, rainbow logos, and supportive campaigns. This year, the landscape has shifted, and brands are now dealing with a balancing act due to conservative backlash. However, recent data from our sister service, CARAVAN®, shows that close to half (46%) of 18–34-year-olds expect brands to take a stance on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community. Faced with contradicting expectations from consumers, some brands are scaling back their Pride campaigns and merchandise while others are not.


In response to last year’s backlash and calls for a boycott, Target has made changes to its Pride collection and the retailer plans to scale back its LGBTQ-themed merchandise this year. In years past, Pride displays were prominently featured at all of its US stores, but this year only a select number of store will carry Pride merchandise. The move represents a change from previous years, reflecting the conservative backlash faced by the brand. "When we think about purpose at Target, it's really about helping all the families, and that 'all' word is really important. “We want to do the right thing to support families across the country," said CEO Brian Cornell.


Levi’s has said they have no plans to scale back Pride festivities, according to USA Today. The company’s Pride 2024 Collection draws inspiration from the “Rainbow Rodeos'' that originated in Nevada in the 1970s. The designs blend classic Western aesthetics with a modern twist, such as patchwork denim and bedazzled western belts. For Levi’s it’s not just about the clothes; it’s about the cause and the brand donates $100,000 annually to Outright International, “a global organization working to advance human rights for LGBTQIA+ people all over the world”. To continue the Pride month celebrations, the Levi’s Williamsburg location will also be hosting an “immersive block party” at the end of June.


Adidas designed their 2024 Pride collection, Love Unites, alongside Brazilian drag queen and artist Pabllo Vittar. The collection is meant to highlight inclusivity in sports and includes shirts, shorts, jackets, backpacks and sneakers. “My aim for the collection was to expand the lens we’re seen through – a color palette that embodies and celebrates the wide spectrum of identities across our community and the culture it influences,” Vittar said.