Bulgaria is in cross-roads of old and new: Traditional values of orthodox church clash with the model digitally empowered generations living in urban centers. Nevertheless, homosexuality has been legal since 1968, discrimination on basis of sexual orientation was banned in 2004 and same-sex marriages are finally legal since 2019, like most of the countries in Eastern Europe, Bulgaria hold socially conservative attitudes in such matters.
In a country where public attention has been drawn into the rising cost of living, energy crises, Ukrainian war, political uproar and pandemic, it is hard to get any other issues to the public discussion.
Diversity, Equality and Inclusion are the key forces for any great business, and dentsu as well. We wanted to make a strong statement with our partners and clients in Bulgaria towards more equal society, where diversity is celebrated and seen as a force for businesses.
We knew our statement alone would not make a difference, so we needed to convince multiple clients, partners and organizations to campaign with us to get more attention to the pride month in Bulgaria, June 2022. Pride is a LGBTIQA+ movement where diversity is celebrated across the globe.
Dentsu is the signatory and member of Diversity Charter in Bulgaria. All signatories share the passion for rising the issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), so we started our hunt for partners for the campaign first among the signatories and local Pride Movement supporters.
We also sought after our own clients which had a mention of DEI in their company declarations. As the cause was bigger than any business issue we might have, we also bravely sought companionships among our own competitors.
With a long list or partners, we started to contact them with one by one with basic information of the campaign, and some visualization examples of how it would look like.
At the same time, we knew that only digital or print applications of the campaign would not make as impactful of a statement we could. Therefore, we opted for Out-Of-Home formats: the bigger, the better, and the busier location the more perfect for the campaign.
Campaign idea originates from dentsu Italy, where the first ‘dentsu & Friends’ campaign was executed in 2021, but with the ‘old’ pride flag design.
Slogan of the campaign in English is: ‘Diversity makes everything beautiful. Even an ad.” The visual identity of the Bulgarian campaign borrows from the Progress Pride Flag, also called ‘new pride flag’, a more inclusive design. Compared to the old, more familiar Rainbow symbol of LGBTIQA+ community, the new design has added symbolism for black, indigenous, trans, transitioning, intersex and outside of gender binary people.
Brands that were in the campaign were Absolute, Accenture, Economedia, EY, Hewlett Packard, Ingram Micro, JCDecaux, Mastercard, Merkle, Metroreklama, Paysafe, and Sutherland.
The collaboration partner who assisted in every step of the campaign is GLAS Foundation, a non-governmental organization, striving to bring forth a positive change to the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Bulgaria, guarantying them full equality and protection from all forms of discrimination.
The key to the campaign success was to get a massive visibility to the campaign through great negotiations with outdoor advertising providers and is a true testament to the trusting relationship we have with our media partners in Bulgaria.
Dentsu Bulgaria: Pride
We supported Pride month in Bulgaria in summer 2022 together with our friends to be a good ally for LGBTQ+ community.
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