Thursday evening saw Ogilvy Pride host their first event for 2017 at Sea Containers as the impressive panel took to the stage to discuss the changing narrative around gender and sexual identity through the lens of LGBTQIA millennials, and its impact on the world of advertising and marketing.

Hosted by BBC Business News Presenter & Correspondent, Ben Thompson, the evening focused on the idea that as the definitions surrounding gender & identity evolve so to must our attitudes and actions as brands and advertisers.

The diverse panel encouraged agencies and brands not only adjust their knowledge of gender narratives in order to reflect changing consumer attitudes, but to also shape their communications to align with the new norm in order to help craft a more inclusive, progressive narrative.

Joining host Ben Thompson on the panel was Buzzfeed’s LGBT Editor Patrick Strudwick, Elle UK’s first Trans Columnist Rhyannon Styles, LGBT Muslim advocate/writer Asad Dhunna, Ogilvy’s Senior Brand Strategist Amelia Priddis, and Nail Transphobia’s Founder and Transactivist Charlie Craggs.

Some of the topline issues discussed are highlighted here:

Establishing new norms

Ogilvy’s own Amelia Priddis shed light on the new norm the millennial generations are currently expanding when it comes to sexuality and gender. Like all generations, they question the rules of those who’ve come before them and look to push present day boundaries as a means of establishing new norms and social constructs. LGBTQIA millennials are challenging the binary relationship we currently have with gender and are questioning the binary element and the breadth of its spectrum.

Brands & LGBTQIA

In terms of marketing in this context, many brands are still in the early days of communicating with LGBTQIA audiences. As an LGBT Muslim working in marketing, Asad gave his take on how brands are reacting to this. He urges communications planners to look at the responsibility they carry when segmenting, whether that’s based on gender or religion.

The panel’s discussion revealed two main factors that hold brands back when considering LGBTQIA marketing: fear of backlash, and fear of getting it wrong. However, Patrick encouraged brands not to hold back, believing they need to “get their skates on or be left behind” when it comes to issues such as representing same sex couples.

Battles still to fight

With trans stories at an all time peak in the news agenda, Charlie brought to light some of the key battles still to fight, sighting hope for a time when a transgender person will be able to play a role and be simply seen as an actor/actress before they are recognized as a token Transgender performer.

Ogilvy Pride Research

As part of the evening, Ogilvy Pride revealed their latest groundbreaking research -  a study on post-millennial and young millennial attitudes towards gender identity, diversity and their reflection in the media.

The Ogilvy Pride team spoke to experts and conducted qualitative and quantitative research amongst people aged 18-25 years across the UK, to gain insight into their understanding of gender.

The study looks at how younger audiences feel about gender identity and diversity, and what we, as communication experts, can do to help rewrite the script for LGBTQIA acceptance and make it normal. To find out more about this please contact