Barclays Pride Work Fronts New ‘Values-Led’ Strategy

Barclays is refocusing its sponsorship approach by uniting its partnerships under a values-driven strategy and late June saw a vignette of its new philosophy through its ‘Pride In London’ activation.


The bank’s integrated, multi-platform activation plan spanned traditional advertising, dressing its physical owned assets, an interactive role in the Pride Parade live digital and physical interactivity and focusing on a set of its latest tech utilities and devices.


These rolled out right through Pride in London – which began with a programme of events and activities on 20 June and culminated on 28 June with a flagship parade through London’s West End, followed by parties in Soho.


One interesting tech-led strand of its work saw Barclays use traditional and digital ads in a three-week flight to encourage users to use its new ‘Pingit’ payment mobile app to make donations to Pride.


Barclays also ran a bank branded bus – blending its own corporate colours with the LGBT community’s iconic rainbow flag – and carrying the Barclay’s Pride campaign hashtag #FreedomToMakeAStatement.


This tagline was based on the theme of this year’s Pride In London – ‘Freedom to…’: which celebrates the freedom that Londoners have fought for, enjoy, and continue to campaign for.


The deal also included a vanilla set of rights – such as the Barclays logo appearing on all Pride in London’s promotional pieces and ads (which focused on the capital city’s transport systems including London Underground posters and London bus sides) in the two weeks leading up to the event and throughout Pride Week itself.


The twin aims of these executions, which aimed to reach 2.5 million people and generate 8 million views, were to raise awareness of the event and to showcase the diversity of the LGBT community.


The ads also carried the campaign hashtag to further encourage real-time interaction around the event and offering members of the public the chance to appear within the campaign.


In a connected consumer integration strand of the activation, festivalgoers who made donations via Pingit and/or those who sent selfie and message tweets using this campaign hashtag had an opportunity to appear on the event’s huge outdoor digital screens in Trafalgar Square, or on the Barclay’s Pride Parade Float.


Another Barclay’s technology rolled out for Pride was ‘bpay bands’ –  these offered festivalgoers the opportunity to pre-apply for the high-tech Barclaycard contactless payment wristbands which enabled wearers to purchase food and drink throughout the event in an easier, safer, simpler and quicker way than with cash.


The bPay bands have appeared at other major public events this year such as the British Summer Time Music Festival.


In terms of using its owned assets, Barclays transformed its own cash machines along the parade route from ATMs to GAYTMs – complete with colourful, pink decked out terminals.


A further pillar of Barclays sponsorship integration saw it rebrand 75 of its so-called Boris Bikes (really Barclays Cycle Hire bikes) into ‘Ride With Pride’ bikes, as well as painting London’s first ever rainbow pedestrian crossing at the junction of Pall Mall East and Suffolk Street (a tactic previously seen at Pride in Tel Aviv and Sydney).


Other Pride In London backers in 2014 include Asda, Baker & McKenzie, Citi, CMS, Robert Dyas, Ryman, SABMiller, Starbucks, Tesco, the TUC and The Mayor Of London


Barclays is working with Havas Sport and Entertainment as its lead global sponsorship agency as it tackles its new strategy.


The change towards refocusing around values partly follows early review results from its 2013/14 season ‘Thank You’ Premier League campaign – which the bank says lifted engagement around the flagship property. (See previous case study.)




The bank has been steadily building ties to the LGBT community and in 2012 it became the first UK bank to feature a same-sex couple in an ad execution. 


2014 again saw Barclays named as one of the best UK employers for LGBT people in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.


This is the third year running that the UK-based bank has backed the week-long LGBT festival, which ran between 22 and 29 June, but 2014 saw the bank move up to a headline sponsor role as part of its largest investment in the property to date.


Barclaycard CEO and LGBT global lead Val Soranno Keating described the event as a ‘true celebration of the power and importance of diversity’.


‘Encouraging greater diversity within organisations is an essential driver of long-term, sustainable success and at Barclays we work hard to create a culture that enables colleagues, customers and clients to express who they are,’ Keating adds.


‘We have a strong track record in promoting the LGBT agenda and our sponsorship of this year’s event shows just how important equality and diversity are to us.’


Following a strategic review of its sponsorship strategy and activation approach, Barclays’ Pride sponsorship is just part of its new umbrella philosophy which will also apply to its other major properties such as the Premier League and the ATP World Tour tennis finals.


The objective is to use sponsorships to represent its values of integrity, stewardship, service, excellence and respect (alongside its core purpose which is ‘to help people achieve their ambitions in the right way’).


The new philosophy and matching strategy change follow not only the financial crisis, but also come in the wake of the 2012 LIBOR rate-rigging scandal.




Barclays Pride In London



Barclays Pingit



Barclays Twitter




Barclays Spectrum




Pride In London



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