SodaStream encourages people to accept others for who they are with new Pride campaign

Pride Month is a pivotal moment in the calendar year for members of the LGBTQ+ community across the gender spectrum to embrace their identities. In honor of this, SodaStream released a minute-long ad celebrating love throughout the last century.

The video entreats viewers to “imagine a world where we never had to hide,” as people across decades past pose for pictures that capture the little moments – two male miners from 1912 sharing a kiss, a Great Depression-era female sailor flexing her bicep that has another woman’s name in a heart tattooed on it, two girls giddily laughing and embracing surrounded pastel balloons, two dads and their kids.

But perhaps a standout scene in the ad is from 1967, where two people of color (the only two in the video) get married. The bride is played by Lila Blilat, a transgender woman from the Bedouin town of Rahat, Israel, near SodaStream’s factory. Coming from a conservative, nomadic Muslim community, she has traveled far to become not only a part of the beverage company’s campaign, but also the face of the 2019 Tel Aviv Pride Parade.

“It’s a dream come true for me to have been chosen to be a picture-perfect beautiful bride in a global campaign,” Blilat told The Drum. “It gives me the strength to continue to fight to be myself and to help others do the same. I truly believe this video helps share the love.”

This campaign is the second that SodaStream has created in recognition of Pride, the first being limited edition sets of “Love is Love” of its signature bottles. The company is also handing out its bottles at Pride parades across Israel designed by a transgender teen that reads “My freedom is your freedom” in Hebrew.

Along with this, the company also launched a campaign for International Women’s Day in March that issued limited-edition reusable “SHE” bottles.

“SodaStream is a business that has a focus on inclusion, and has consistently shown support for all people, no matter their origin, religion, gender or sexual preference – of course, this extends tp the LGBTQ+ community around the world,” Matti Yahav, chief marketing officer of SodaStream, told The Drum. SodaStream also has used campaigns to address the glut of single-use plastic polluting oceans and celebrate Earth Day by helping towns with 'Green' in their name live up to the moniker. “We love to take part in every opportunity to support equality and inclusion.”

This campaign comes amid ongoing conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine, but Yahav is confident in the impact a brand’s message can have.

“I have seen firsthand that brands have the power to unite people in areas where coexistence can be complex and difficult,” he said. “Our factory in Israel is known as ‘The Island of Peace’ where SodaStream… has established a workplace where Palestinians and Israelis work together in harmony, proving it’s possible to have economic peace and unity in the Middle East.”

The goal of the campaign is not only to observe and pay tribute to the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community, but also to inspire love all across the board.

“We are well-known for our fun and lighthearted way of conveying important messages in our campaigns. However, this time around, we wanted to strike another chord with a poignant and emotional global campaign that anyone can – and should – relate to,” Yahav said. “We hope the video will encourage the surrounding community in Israel and people around the world to accept one another for who they truly are — and inspire them to share the love.”

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