Facebook is the latest brand to come out as a sponsor of Sydney’s Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrations, and will also enter a float in the world-famous parade.
The social media giant has form in the area of gay rights activism, taking part in pride parades in the US and allowing people to put rainbow filters over their profile pictures when gay marriage laws were being passed across the world.
Mia Garlick, director of policy Australia New Zealand for Facebook and Instagram said: “Amongst the 14 million Australians who regularly use Facebook, the topic of marriage equality was one of the top 15 most mentioned topics on the site in 2015 – and around the world, more than 26 million people added a rainbow pride filter to their profile pictures.
“On Instagram, people used #PridePortraits to share their images of love, pride and family”.
On Tuesday Mumbrella revealed condom brand Ansell had usurped rival Durex for the key sexual health product category for the event.
Mardi Gras CEO Michele Bauer said Facebook’s support meant a lot to the organisation and the community “not just because of its size or reach, although those are wonderful benefits, but because of Facebook’s commitment to campaigns that spread messages of social justice”.
It is the first time Facebook has officially partnered with the festival which claims to have the biggest night time parade of its kind in the world, attracting 10,000 participants. The social network will have 50 people involved in the parade.
The partnership was brokered by Pink Media Group, whose managing director Ben Mulcahy said: “Like all Australians, LGBTIQ people have had their lives revolutionised by social media over the past decade.
“It has helped build and connect the community like never before. Facebook’s partnership is more than just an opportunity to get their brand in front of 250,000 spectators at the parade: it’s a great reminder of the power of social media and social movements to change lives.”
The Mardi Gras parade happens on March 5, while the festival contains other events including Fair Day on Sunday, February 21.