June 1 marks the beginning of Pride month, when parades pop up in cities around the world and rainbows start appearing in ads for liquor, banks, makeup and big-box department stores.
These events and campaigns are visible shows of support for the L.G.B.T.Q. community. They’re also good for business. Sometimes lumped under the label of “rainbow capitalism,” pride ads and merchandise are often the subject of jokes and memes that question the sincerity of corporate marketing and the influencers who help boost such messages.
This year, the online ribbing started right away. Katie Johantgen riffed on a common joke format just after midnight on June 1: an emotional coming-out message, ending with the reveal of a brand partnership: “I’ve realized life is short,” she wrote on Twitter, “which is why this pride I’ve decided to partner with Taco Bell, so I can Live Mas.” Though the tweet was meant as a parody, modeled after language influencers use to promote Pride campaigns, Mrs.
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