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A rundown of the brands looking to bathe in the sparkle of Sydney World Pride

Mumbrella's Kalila Welch goes through all the major brands supporting the biggest event to hit Australian shores since the pandemic hit.

The spirit of pride has emanated across Sydney’s streets, screens and supermarket shelves as brands paint the town rainbow in anticipation for Sydney World Pride.

According to the organisers, the event is the largest to hit Australian shores since the onset of the pandemic and is hoped to be the cultural moment to cure Sydney’s night life (or lack of it) challenges and reboot the city’s tourism and hospitality industries.

The first World Pride event to be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney World Pride has seen a suite of partners sign up officially, and a multitude of unofficial nods to the celebrations including advocacy from brands and organisations.

On the official lineup is principal partner AMEX as well as Coles, MINI Australia, Booking.com, TikTok and Deloitte among others. The event’s official marketing agency partner is M&C Saatchi while the broadcast rights are held by the ABC.

Ahead of the event’s official launch on Saturday February 17, Mumbrella has rounded up some the best, worst and least expected brand work to come from this year’s super sized pride celebrations.

Pride right down to your undies

World Pride has this year struck a chord with a number of brands who play in the underwear space. We have the usual players, like Bonds, who has long been a public ally of the Mardi Gras movement, this year continuing its unGENderwear campaign with an out of home activation in partnership with Revolution360.

Launching its own pride collection ‘This Is Love’ is Calvin Klein, whose local collection also features the work of First Nation’s artist Jake Simon. For each garment sold, 30 cents will be donated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQIA+ organisation BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation.

Period underwear brand Modibodi has also launched an all-gender range with a campaign featuring trans masc model Oscar McGergor. The brand has also partnered with LGBTQIA+ organisation Twenty10, donating a portion of sales to its advocacy programs.

Oscar McGregor for Modibodi’s ALL-GENDER collection

Bottling the rainbow

The beverage category has played in this space before as well, from embedding pride into product labels through to more involved integrations into pride celebrations.

A brand with a history of LGBTQIA+ allyship that extends more than four decades, Pernod Ricard vodka label Absolut, will this year facilitate ‘House of Absolut’, a touring LGBTQIA+ celebration spanning a number of events throughout Sydney World Pride from February 17 to March 5. The schedule includes a queer history bus tour, a Ballroom museum at The Alex, a Housewarming Party, a free shuttle to the Mardi Gras parade and more.

Little Creatures, the “official beer of Sydney World Pride”, has this year unveiled its limited edition pride-themed packaging on some of its key products as well as launching a 3D OOH campaign across the QM City of Sydney network.

Coca-Cola has brought back its ‘Love Cans’, which the brand first created in 2017 in support of the ‘yes’ campaign during the national debate on marriage equality. The limited-edition cans will be available at pride events, including the opening and closing concerts and Pride Villages.

Treasury Wines Estates’ Squealing Pig has welcomed back nine-limited pride labels on its 750ml rosé bottle, each celebrating a letter of the LGBTQIA+ acronym and allies. The brand this year also tied in Pride Day at the Australian Open with its ‘Summer of Love campaign’ from its inhouse agency Splash TWE. The work rolled out on connected TV, OOH, online video and social.

Proctor & Gamble’s effervescent energy tablet brand Vöost has partnered with the world’s first openly gay active professional male footballer, Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo, for its ‘Celebrate All Flavours’ campaign, which includes a partnership with LGBTQIA+ charity Minus18. The campaign will extend to activations across World Pride celebrations, alongside other P&G brands.

And the rest

TBWA’s Fabric and Vicinity Centre’s have partnered to transform Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building into a commemoration of the LGBTQIA+ icons, activists and changemakers that have made Australian pride what it is today. Spanning two levels of the building, the installation has seen portraits of LGBTQIA+ ‘Kings’ and “Queens’ suspended from the central dome of the QVB, accompanied by a gallery of archival images of each individual’s contribution to the community.

 

Ovolo Hotels has also launch its own World Pride program, with Drag concierges, a drag recovery brunch and free M.A.C Cosmetic glam station and rainbow themed decor.

After signing onto World Pride as a official partner, supermarket giant Coles has decked out its grocery stores with Pride posters as it gears up for Mardi Gras celebrations next weekend.

Sydney World Pride’s principal partner American Express can be seen across a myriad of activations. At Crown Street’s Pride Villages hub, the corporation will have its own stage, as well as the Amex House pop up down the road at Oxford House, where The Veronicas are set to perform on February 28.

The Veronicas have also partnered with the brand, alongside a number of high profile LGBTQIA+ members and allies, for AMEX’s withyou&Proud campaign, which celebrates allyship, calling on Australians to nominate someone for their support or involvement in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Last week Optus launched a Sydney World Pride campaign to commemorate its premier partnership with the the event, with campaign creative rolling out nationally across YouTube, social, BVOD, OOH and official Sydney World Pride partner activations.

Of the campaign, Optus managing director of marketing and revenue, Matt Williams, said: “At Optus, we believe it’s our differences that make us stronger and that great things happen when we lift each other up. That’s why our employee-led LGBTQIA+ network, Express Yourself, embraces the diversity our amazing people.”

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