Marketing & the Marginalized Creativity Brand Purpose

Sir Elton John transforms into an ‘LGBT-QR Code’ to raise funds during Pride


By Ellen Ormesher | Reporter

June 9, 2022 | 4 min read

The Elton John Aids Foundation has partnered with Clear Channel and Ogilvy UK’s Proud network to launch LGBT-QR Codes – an innovative fundraising platform set to debut worldwide during Pride 2022.

An image of Sir Elton John has been transformed into an LGBT-QR Code, a fundraising mechanic that turns a functional monochrome QR code into the instantly-recognizable icon. The images will appear across European cities and alongside Pride march routes throughout the summer, with each LGBT-QR Code taking users to a donation page for the charity.

“Elton’s face has appeared on album covers, tour posters and all sorts of fabulous merchandise – but a QR code is certainly a first,” said David Furnish, chief exec of Rocket Entertainment and chairman of the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Elton John OOH

The foundation, Clear Channel and Ogilvy will turn DOOH screens into donation touchpoints / Image via Clear Channel

Elton John OOH

“With the support of Ogilvy UK and Clear Channel, we are thrilled to have been able to create a meaningful and purposeful fundraising platform in celebration of Pride month that drives the Foundation’s mission forward in overcoming stigma and hate.”

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Aiming to step beyond the norm of tokenistic LGBTQ+ support, Clear Channel and Ogilby will turn thousands of digital OOH (DOOH) screens into donation touchpoints powered by LGBT-QR codes, aligning allyship and fundraising through one simple platform.

Matt Waksman, strategic partner at Ogilvy UK, said: “While the pandemic normalized QR codes, we saw an opportunity to use creativity to transform a traditionally functional format into a new fundraising platform. Who better to partner with than one of the world’s most recognized LGBTQ+ icons, Elton John?”

Jason Jarvis, creative agency account director and LGBTQ+ crew lead at Clear Channel UK, added: “As a one-to-many medium, out-of-home is the perfect platform to deliver campaigns that inspire, educate and support the audiences we serve and represent. Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community has been important to Clear Channel, and by partnering with Ogilvy again we hope to make an even more tangible difference this Pride season.”

Elton John OOH

“Flipping media sites into donation points is totally aligned with our support of LGBTQ communities, and we’re excited to see this new campaign come to life alongside Pride marches in cities across Europe this summer.”

The LGBT-QR Codes will first appear in Utrecht and then Rome, before rolling out across Europe.

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