Make Mardi Gras Meaningful

5th March 2021
Posted in Projects
5th March 2021 Stewart Gurney

Make Mardi Gras Meaningful

From ‘Rainbow-washing’ to ‘chasing the pink dollar’: why authenticity is key for brands wanting to be part of the Sydney Mardi Gras conversation.

I love Sydney Mardi Gras. It’s a magical time of the year, when drag queens fearlessly march up and down Oxford street and there’s a faint hint of glitter in the air.

Mardi Gras provides a unique opportunity for brands and advertisers to, not only connect with a specific community, but also outwardly demonstrate their support for diversity and foster a sense of workforce pride and inclusion. Tiktok, Salesforce, SBS, Woolworth’s, Archie Rose and even P&G are just some of the brands who are gearing up for this year’s celebrations.

Sydney Mardi Gras has evolved from a civil rights protest involving 3,000 people, to a national event involving 300,000 spectators and 12,000 participants across 200 floats. Coverage on SBS in 2020 gained 392,000 national viewers, giving it 10% share of the highly sought after 18-49 audience. Its commercial appeal continues to grow. In fact, studies have indicated the event generates around $38M for the Australian economy.

While brand managers might be excited by the prospect, getting it wrong is easy to do. The LGBTQI+ community are experts at identifying when they are being exploited and will happily share their opinion. ‘Chasing the pink dollar’, ‘Rainbow-washing’ or ‘Virtue-signalling’ are just some labels given to brands who get it wrong.

Doing it well is about one thing: Authenticity.

Read the full article on Mumbrella.

Stewart Gurney (He/Him)

Chief strategy officer, Kaimera


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