Originally published in Forbes.
This June, SKYY Vodka is here to slay.
A new campaign, "Proudly American," debuted during LGBT Pride Month. The first installment of the yearlong campaign, titled "Home of the Brave," features billboards, ads and short videos with gay artists and athletes. Drag artists Trixie Mattel and Dusty Ray Bottoms as well as Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy are among the faces showcased.
"It's the first time we've used artists like this in our forward-facing consumer advertising," Dave Karraker, Campari America marketing vice president,, says. "Last year, we were the official sponsor of Transparent in the pride parade."
Additionally, SKYY, which was founded in San Francisco, has long ties to the LGBT community. It supports amfAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research) and the Stop Aids Project. In 2008, SKYY was the official vodka of the Academy Award-winning film Milk. In recent years, the company focused on advocating for marriage equality.
"We've always been a supportive of this community," Melanie Batchelor, Campari America marketing vice president, says. "Many vodkas will come in during Pride month, put a rainbow on the bottle and then move onto their next campaign. For us, it's about making sure it's authentic."
"Home of the Brave," with its nod to the national anthem, is meant to celebrate "the spirit of today’s bold, optimistic Americans," according to Campari executives. What's more brave than taking the artistic risk to combine folk music and a drag persona based on a doll?
"Part of being an American is having the freedom to go against the grain a little bit," drag artist Trixie Mattel says. "Me being a folk-country singer dressed up the way I do? The bravery is in there."
Read the full article on Forbes.