Feel the Rainbow

Monday 29 June 2015
The Shaker's picture

Facebook is typically the place to yell and scream about poor customer service or your football team getting flogged again. The endless torrent of negativity we hurl into the social media void is very much a 21st Century construct, however this weekend something very different happened.


Gay (ɡā)


1. (of a person, especially a man) homosexual.

"that friend of yours, is he gay?"


2. lighthearted and carefree.

"Nan had a gay disposition and a very pretty face"


Yep. Both definitions were in full display through Facebook across the world as users cheered the US Supreme Court’s decision that it was not just legal for people of the same sex to get married, but it was their right.  It was a big shift in the conversation, and was deservedly celebrated all day.

George Takei on Marriage Equality

Anyone who opened their Facebook Feeds on Saturday morning would have been amazed at the change in tone. Rather than the usual commentary of Friday nights filled with excessive behaviour and regretful decisions, we had humanity, and love, and positivity, and respect and, wow…. pretty much everything social media is famous for not being.

It was a great demonstration of how positive messages can really cut through among the noise. From a branding and marketing point of view, there is a delicate balance as customers are typically cynical of receiving overtly happy messages from advertisers. We’re not talking about the aspirational/motivation slogans across a sunset that are supposed to inspire positive thinking – this is much more about carefully crafting a message that targets common wants and needs by playing to our emotions.

It’s not complicated – this is really Marketing 101.

However, in the world of social media where so many eyeballs are focussed for so much time every day, it’s worth considering the conversation that surrounds you, and what it is that your audience is truly hoping to hear.

Facebook displayed a very keen sense of what the audience would want, need and desire in their Celebrate Pride function that allowed users across the world to effortlessly superimpose their profile images with the rainbow, and allowed an altogether more cheery newsfeed since Saturday. 

By no means was this a spur of the moment decision either, but rather a carefully planned tool based on a very hopeful eventuality. That doesn't take anything away from the well planned, and altogether well meaning demonstration on Facebok's behalf. 

It's not just good marketing, it's just good.