QUEER VOICES
08/01/2017 11:08 am ET

Absolut's New Campaign Shines A Light On Queer Struggles Around The World

"Kiss With Pride" highlights couples from nations where same-sex love is illegal.

Absolut is hoping to shine a light on the adversity LGBTQ people still face around the world with a powerful photo and social media campaign. 

The iconic vodka brand marked the 50th anniversary of homosexuality being decriminalized in England July 27 with a series of colorful images that show same-sex couples locking lips. Photographed by Sam Bradley, the “Kiss With Pride” shots are a joint effort with British LGBTQ advocacy organization Stonewall that aim to “champion equal love,” according to a press release. In fact, many of the campaign’s participants hail from one of 72 countries where it is illegal to engage in same-sex activity. 

The "Kiss With Pride" photo campaign features participants who hail from 72 countries where same-sex activity remains illegal
Sam Bradley/Absolut
The "Kiss With Pride" photo campaign features participants who hail from 72 countries where same-sex activity remains illegal. 

The photo series follows the release of “Equal Love,” Absolut’s similarly-themed commercial depicting a never-ending kiss across diverse couples that was released in conjunction with London’s Pride festivities last month. (That clip, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times as of Tuesday morning, can be viewed above.) The photos will appear both digitally and in print. 

Absolut has also launched a #KissWithPride Snapchat lens, inviting supporters to use the Snapcode while sharing their own images, as part of the effort. A donation will be made to Stonewall each time the Snapcode is used. 

“I would really like the images to reach people outside of that bubble, and to start a constructive conversation,&rdquo
Sam Bradley/Absolut
“I would really like the images to reach people outside of that bubble, and to start a constructive conversation,” photographer Sam Bradley said of his "Kiss With Pride" series. 

“The fact that millions of people around the world still aren’t free to love who they choose goes against everything Absolut stands for,” Adam Boita, who is the head of U.K. marketing at Absolut’s parent company, Pernod Ricard, said in a press release. “So the ‘Kiss With Pride’ campaign is something we’re extremely proud of.” 

Bradley echoed those sentiments, and said he was drawn to the “Kiss With Pride” campaign because “the idea was so pure.” 

“It’s quite rare for advertising to be for a cause without it feeling disingenuous. This felt absolutely natural and true,” he said. Ultimately, the photographer hopes his images will be seen outside of cities with visible LGBTQ communities such as London and New York. “I would really like the images to reach people outside of that bubble,” he added, “and to start a constructive conversation.”

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