Sydney was a sea of sparkle and fabulousness this weekend as Mardi Gras sashayed back into town. A number of brands boosted their support this year and social media was dominated with punny hashtags and rainbows supporting a range of fully integrated marketing campaigns.
ANZ’s hugely popular GAYTMs were back with added pizazz and this year they also ran a contest to put a GAYTM in another Australian town – won by Daylesford in Victoria.
Telstra jumped on board this year with #discoinfono – disco themed phone booths installed around the city decked out with rainbows, glitter balls and Disco Inferno on repeat. Fellow newcomers Airbnb built the Big Gay Stay, running an online competition to spend the night in the Mardi Gras float (in the botanical gardens no less) and be part of the parade.
MTV had its first ever ‘pop up’ channel, replacing its usual Dance channel with MTV Pride for a week-long special of Mardi Gras-inspired programming described by host Courtney Act as ‘gayer than a kitten dressed as a unicorn spitting rainbows’.
Transport companies were jumping in and getting involved too. One hundred pilots, cabin crew and ground staff from Qantas rolled into town on a specially made Gay380 float, complete with a #rainbowroo tail. You could even score yourself a free ride in one of three ‘MardiCars’, a partnership with carsguide.com.au and Uber involving some very colourful cars.
V energy drink changed the look of its can for the first time since the product’s launch in 1999. The limited edition rainbow can was given out at Mardi Gras events.
With 10,000 people and half a tonne of glitter brands did a great job of getting themselves seen. You can be sure that we’ll see bigger, brighter and glitzier campaigns every year.
My personal highlight? The Village People singing YMCA on top of the Mardi Gras themed Harbour Bridge. Totally fabulous.