Following on from the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on June 26th, where same-sex marriage was officially made legal in all fifty states, there have been some wonderful expressions of celebration – many drawn from last Saturday’s Pride event in London.
Alongside enjoying America becoming the twenty-first (and largest, population wise) country to recognise gay marriage, the Armed Forces took the opportunity to send their biggest contingent ever to join in with the march (it was also Armed Forces Day) and Paul Coombs caused much merriment (and confusion, for CNN) by flying an Isis sex toy flag. This all follows hot on the heels of Ireland’s referendum on May 22nd, in which they became the first country to legalise marriage for same-sex couples by popular vote.
These rulings have also inspired an interesting response in the business world, with many companies / brands taking advantage of the multi-coloured filters available online and altering their profile pictures accordingly to show their support.
Now, we’re not saying that companies shouldn’t show support or their personalities – the opposite in fact. But there’s a fine line to tread. Changing your profile colours is one thing, but there are countless examples of what amounts to social media hijacking efforts, or when brands get the tone wrong and go too far trying to force their way into the conversation instead of supporting it.
Also worth considering – if companies (posting blog or social media updates, or alerting profile pictures) have felt this strongly about a topic before, why not broadcast it sooner? If you stand for something, why wait until there’s a populist movement and little fear of criticism… oh.
There’s the crux of the matter. If you wait until there’s a bandwagon going in the right direction, you run the risk of coming across as patronising.