KPN is Loud & Proud during the Canal Parade

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Nothing can mute Pride! KPN gives suppressed DJ's a stage during the Canal Parade.

We love to work on meaningful campaigns, and we love to share this with you. This week is, of course, all about Pride because Pride Amsterdam is just around the corner! Every year, this event is a great opportunity for brands to show their commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community. This is desperately needed, especially outside the country. Our customer KPN is doing something extraordinary with the Canal Parade this week. During Amsterdam Pride, KPN is inviting DJs from LGBTQIA+-unfriendly countries to perform during the Canal Parade in Amsterdam. These countries score insufficiently on the so-called Equaldex, and, according to KPN, people cannot safely walk the streets to celebrate their sexuality or gender.

Podium for oppressed DJs

Oppressed DJs get the stage they deserve on the KPN boat sailing through the canals. One of them is DJ Avotmat from Poland. Avtomat is a great advocate of equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people and has participated in all kinds of initiatives that support the community. Although part of the EU, his homeland Poland is an unsafe place for the community. A third of the country has declared itself an 'LGBTQIA+ free zone' with the support of the national government, and Pride festivals there are regularly violently disrupted.

Nothing can mute Pride!

With this action, KPN proves that Pride cannot be silenced: nothing can mute Pride! The global music platform DJ Mag streams these performances so that people in Jordan, Kenya, Poland and the rest of the world can enjoy them live. Anyone can follow the live stream during the Canal Parade on Saturday, 6 August, via

The role KPN wants to play during the Pride

Hilde Garssen, Chief People Officer and member of the Board of Management at KPN: "We think it's important that we can and are allowed to take part in the Canal Parade. KPN is committed to diversity, freedom and equality, both in the workplace and beyond, offline and online. Pride Amsterdam is a real party for us, but one with serious undertones. Millions of people cannot be who they really are and are not allowed to love who they really love. Although we have no illusions that we can solve this global problem, we think it is important to raise the issue and tell the world that Pride will not be silenced. That's where we as KPN like to play a connecting role."

De rol die KPN wil innemen tijdens de Pride

Hilde Garssen, Chief People Officer en lid van de Raad van Bestuur bij KPN: “We vinden het belangrijk dat we kunnen en mee mogen varen met de Canal Parade. KPN zet zich in voor diversiteit, vrijheid en gelijkheid, zowel op de werkvloer als daarbuiten, offline en online. De Pride Amsterdam is voor ons een echt feestje, maar wel een met een serieuze ondertoon. Miljoenen mensen kunnen namelijk niet zijn wie ze echt zijn en mogen niet houden van wie ze echt houden. Hoewel we niet de illusie hebben dat wij dit wereldwijde probleem kunnen oplossen, vinden we het wel belangrijk om het aan te kaarten en aan de wereld te vertellen dat Pride zich de mond niet laat snoeren. Daarin spelen we als KPN graag een verbindende rol.

Purpose marketing: pinkwashing?

Purpose marketing is increasingly important in contributing to people's awareness that, as a brand, you contribute to a better world. Of course, this has to be done well because before you know it, it works against you and you as a brand are accused of greenwashing or purpose washing. Or around the Pride, the so-called pinkwashing. Pinkwashing means that you see Pride as nothing more than a means to advertise your brand to the LGBTQIA+ community or make a good impression. But people have not been fooled by this for a long time. It is counterproductive if people do not believe in the message you are spreading about your brand. A brand's message on the Canal Pride will only be taken seriously if the rest of the year also devotes attention to this topic.

Diversity and inclusion at KPN

KPN has an active policy on diversity and inclusion and strives for a safe and free environment for all employees. The internal 'KPN Pride team' is committed to the LGBTQIA+ community within the company throughout the year. In recent years, KPN has been the main sponsor of a chair at Leiden University for accepting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the workplace. Last year, the company won the Winq Workplace Award, intended for companies that actively promote a safe working environment for everyone.

'Loud & Proud' in the media

HPB approached trade media with the news about this action by KPN so that they could shine their light on it.

Find the article on Adformatie. here.

Click here for the article on Marketing Tribune.

With the FAME formula, HPB ensures that brands are authentically brought to the attention of the heart of the target group. The communication surrounding this campaign is an excellent example of how a brand can earn attention by communicating sincere and honest facts and adding meaning to a story. Read more about the FAME formula here.

KPN PRIDE NCMP 1920x1080
Date 04 August 2022

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