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Sydney Mardi Gras new logo
Mardi Gras – Gay Or Not?

in AUSTRALIA, 20/11/2011

Sydney’s annual gay and lesbian festival Mardi Gras has received a rather strange brand makeover. Orchestrated by STW Group’s Moon Communications, the idea behind the brand rethink is to open up the festival beyond the gay and lesbian community and make it relevant to everybody as ‘a celebration of the power and the beauty of diversity’.

A new logo has been introduced – two hearts pushed together in the shape of a butterfly, and the name of the event changed to Sydney Mardi Gras. However, the name of the organisation has been changed back from New Mardi Gras to Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. Confusion for all.

The festival’s chair Pete Urmson said in a statement:

“The Sydney Mardi Gras will always have its thumping gay heart that celebrates the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer communities, but Mardi Gras is now inviting those who share our positive message about the power and beauty of diversity to be part of our celebration.

We would love to see people who share our values, but who never thought they would be in the Parade to approach us and share their ideas. There will always be room for a great float which will both entertain and bring people together.

Our hope with this change is to turn Sydney Mardi Gras into an even bigger civic event – right up there with Rio and the world’s other great carnivals – to be enjoyed by everyone, but always remembered as being a gift to the city from its gay & lesbian community and a demonstration of our pride.”

Greg Logan, Moon’s ECD, said: “The logo is a universal symbol that connects with everyone in a different way. It symbolises all types of genders coming together and does not discriminate. Its symmetry indicates equality and people coming together to celebrate love.”

The logo has been tattooed on the arm of the festival’s head of marketing and communications Damien Eames and used in brand activations on Sydney’s beaches.

This change seems to be moving Mardi Gras away from the LGBT community and into the wider commercial world; whether this degenerates the meaning and spirit of the event remains to be seen.

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