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Unilever says ‘United We Stand’ in new Pride campaign

Film-maker Jess Kohl shares voices and experiences of queer British life that often go unnoticed by mainstream media

Unilever’s latest campaign, ‘United We Stand’, shines a light on a range of lived experiences of the LGBT+ community across the UK, the film celebrating untold stories of Pride as part of advertiser’s ongoing commitment to support a more inclusive society.

The short-film series, directed by film-maker Jess Kohl, shares voices and experiences of queer British life that often go unnoticed by mainstream media.

Stories include Aamir and Amir, who were the first gay South Asian couple to be married in Bradford; AJ and Kai, who are two young trans men in their early 20s growing up in Liverpool; Martina, who transitioned later in life and now lives in rural Yorkshire; and Millie, who lives in London.

The series has been created in partnership with Superdrug as part of its longstanding Pride link-up with Unilever. For the fourth consecutive year, Unilever and Superdrug are also supporting the Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline by donating money and raising awareness of the charity. Founded in 1974, Switchboard operates a nationwide helpline which offers the community a safe space to discuss sexuality, gender and identity. The helpline is open 365 days a year thanks to dedicated volunteers.

Over the past year, as people have had to stay at home more, Switchboard’s remote services have needed more than ever. In 2020, contacts to its services were up 15% and contact via its instant messaging service reached an all-time high. The donation from Unilever and Superdrug will provide significant support to the charity, funding 170,000 minutes of its volunteers’ time, which is the equivalent to almost six months running costs for the charity. This year’s partnership will also specifically fund new resources to help improve Switchboard LGBT+’s education and training programs for its 200+ volunteers.

Natasha Walker, the co-chair of Switchboard, said: “The Unilever and Superdrug Pride campaigns have made such a difference at Switchboard over the last year, not only highlighting our helpline details but also the work of our volunteers. We want our services to reach and be available to everyone in every corner of the UK. The support from Unilever and Superdrug is truly an invaluable partnership that has supported us financially but more importantly enabled us to raise even more awareness of our helpline services so that those most in need know they have someone to turn to.“

Speaking about the making of the project, filmmaker Jess Kohl said: “In this campaign we wanted to celebrate the intersections that push and grow LGBT+ culture and how we are perceived/represented. The four films we have made cannot capture all the richness of UK queer culture, but it’s a start at showing some of it.”

Chris Barron, vice-president for beauty and personal care at Unilever UK&I, said: “We want our brands to show up as being reflective of the world in which we live, which is why we are highlighting these stories from the LGBT+ community. The ‘United We Stand‘ series comprises four extremely powerful and moving films that share some of the experiences and barriers faced by the LGBT+ community in Britain today. By sharing these untold stories, we hope this series will inspire those looking to celebrate Pride this month, and all year round.”

You can vote for the campaign in Creative Works by clicking on the box below.

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