Planned a Pride campaign? Here’s what our data tells us

Planned a Pride campaign? Here’s what our data tells us

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Each year during global Pride Month, we see brands around the world use this moment to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

At around 5-10% of the population in APAC (not to mention the estimated “hidden” population), the LGBTQ+ community is a growing segment that needs to be heard — with an annual global spending power estimated to be worth $3.7 trillion.

Search data shows us that interest in topics related to LGBTQ+ are seeing sustained growth throughout the year, not just during Pride Month. Although Search continues to be a helpful resource for people to find answers and understanding, this also reveals an opportunity for brands to think about their more long-term engagement with the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, brands that only show up during Pride Month without a more long-term commitment to support the community can risk looking disingenuous.

Search trend in APAC countries shows us sustained, systematic interest in LGBTQ+ queries

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By looking at our search data and talking with LGBTQ+ communities, we discovered unique insights to help brands stay connected and relevant in their communication throughout the year while also helping to move the dial on equal and realistic representation of LGBTQ+ audiences in APAC.

Searches uncover a hidden demand for knowledge and understanding

Often when we look at search trends, we see evidence of online interest in the physical world too. For example, rises in search interest for bubble tea tend to coincide with long queues outside Gong Cha. But there are other times when search can reveal the more hidden or private needs of people, even on topics that society might not yet outwardly accept or acknowledge.

Search data shows us that people are looking to understand or connect with others who might share similar experiences as they do within the LGBTQ+ community. We also see a wider audience outside the community looking for ways to better understand and offer support.

For example, we found that meaning-defining questions are on the rise. Search interest for “what is LGBTQ?” has spiked by over 450% over the past 12 months in Malaysia, whereas “what is sexual identity?” reached a more than five-year high in the Philippines — and an all-time high globally in November 2020.

In Japan, “LGBT と は 意味” (“What does LGBT mean?”) more than doubled over the past 12 months and reached an all-time high in October 2020.

In Australia, search interest for “gender dysphoria” surged to an all-time high in May 2020, whereas “what does pansexual mean?” rose by 130% over the past 12 months.

For some people, the way they’re using Search to look for answers has helped them learn more about themselves and their identity.

Voices from the LGBTQ+ communities

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With people actively searching for ways to feel understood, brands that show a positive and authentic portrayal of diversity can help people feel included and better understand their own experiences. At the same time, this offers exposure to role models who may be harder to find. It’s about using your brand to uncover what already exists and offer your brand as a platform for this message, rather than trying to artificially create or force-fit a narrative.

For example, Bhima Jewelry’s “Pure as love” campaign tells the true story of a proud trans woman who was able to become her true self thanks to the support of her family. The story is told with such simplicity, sensitivity and positivity, while the comments on the video reflect how grateful people are to see a brand telling a story that truly reflects the world they feel they belong to.

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By providing a platform that gives an authentic voice to more LGBTQ+ role models, not only do you normalize and inspire acceptance of others through stories, you can also create a safe space for people to have an open dialogue and share their experiences.

For example, in a small act of understanding, ANZ Bank chose to focus on how many people in the LGBTQ+ community feel hesitant holding hands with their partner in public. The 2018 “#HoldTight” campaign showed how people often felt tense and scared — deciding it was sometimes easier to let go of their partner’s hand. By choosing to make this a mainstream conversation, ANZ Bank showed how brands and industries can be unexpected champions for change.

“Incredible. Tears. So many people will have never had to understand this awful feeling portrayed so incredibly perfectly in this video.” — Paul, YouTube commenter

 

Tara Mckenty

Creative Head Google, Brand Studio APAC

Jess Duarte

Insights Lead, Think with Google APAC

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