Pride Brand Makeover winners announced

Branded content agency Raw London has triumphed in this year’s Pride Brand Makeover competition with a reimagined ad for Mermaids UK, the support agency for gender diverse and transgender youngsters and their families.

The entry, which was the remaking of a Teenage Cancer Trust ad, sees a teenage girl playing a video game of her life in which her adversaries are made up of bullies, cyber bullies, unsupportive family members and internal struggle of a trans person. The video in the original ad, called Gamer Girl, did this for a teenager with cancer to depict her own struggle.

The ad, which was remade with the blessing of the Teenage Cancer Trust, highlights the need for support and advice for young people and their families who are experiencing confusion around their gender.

PrideAM’s annual Brand Makeover competition – now in its second year – enables brands and their creative partners to explore the area of LGBT+ friendly advertising with confidence while helping create positive role models.

The winners receive £100,000 of inventory from Gay Times while all five finalists will share £325,000 of ad inventory from YouTube.

Four further competition entries were selected for particular commendation by the judges.

They were:

  • adam&eveDDB for Lloyds Bank, which featured a lesbian couple in its Running of the Horses brand campaign
  • Engine for Paddy Power and their work around the World Cup in which they donated £10,000 to the Attitude Foundation for every goal scored by the notoriously homophobic host country, Russia
  • Crispin Porter + Bogusky for PayPal in which they reimagined a past OOH campaign, replacing all the characters with members of the LGBT+ community
  • McCann London’s stunt for the Peter Tatchell Foundation in which heterosexual men entering a blood donation bank in central London were scanned by a ‘bouncer’ holding a pseudo ‘gay detector’ to highlight the discrimination that sexually active gay and bisexual men face when trying to donate blood.

You can see examples from the finalists’ submissions here.

Mark Runacus, President of PrideAM, said: “There is often a perception among open minded people that LGBT+ acceptance is no longer a problem, but that is very much not the case. A third of LGBT people aren’t out at work while we are still seeing public examples of young people being abusive towards the LGBT community.

“Advertising has the ability to develop positive role models in everybody’s lives and make a significant difference to the attitude of the general public. Through this competition we hope to shine a light on the issue and inspire other brands to pay more consideration to addressing LGBT+ issues, or featuring members of the LGBT+ community, in their everyday work.

“The quality of the work this year was incredibly high which is very encouraging. The PrideAM team – which is made up entirely of volunteers – work tirelessly to keep LGBT+ issues in advertising front of mind. It would be a huge boost to our cause to see a wider range of LGBT+ friendly ads in the mainstream media in 2019.”

The competition was judged by a panel of industry experts and LGBT+ thought leaders including Stephen Woodford, the Advertising Association’s CEO, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Co-Founder and Executive Director of UK Black Pride, Harjot Singh, Chief Strategy Officer for McCann Worldgroup EMEA, James Bates, Marketing Planning and Strategy Manager for John Lewis, Rachel Reese, CEO of Global Butterflies, and James Frost, CEO of Gay Times.

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