Stockholm Pride Parade a sponsors darling

Yesterday was the day for Stockholm Pride Parade, and as we hung around the park waiting for the party to start I noticed the difference in sponsors. Here there were international brands as sponsors, not like previous years parades in Amsterdam and New york where gay night clubs and bars would be the most visable brands around. Another difference from previous parades was all the political parties marching in solidarity this election year, it gave me hives.

Swedens "Dame Edna", comedian "Babsan" with her beefy troop of merry men rush toward the start of the parade where their float awaits.

The Queen on her float. Babsan and the beefy boys are sponsored by Debenhams - the British department store.

As one of the first floats on the parade I think Debenhams got their moneys worth. Everything about this float was in tune with their advertising attitude which can be summed up in a strange word: "Britishness". They have beefeter gin boys, twisted sense of humor and the Swedish Dame Edna onboard. The girls had t-shirts that read "God save all Queens" on the back. Bless the puns! This worked.

Here's Sony-we-don't-even-try-Ericssons "float" which is essentially just a regular bus with just a regular ad on it driving through the parade with dancing people on top. Le yawn. Or: How not to sponsor a very specific parade.

Here's one of the political floats - every party was represented and it repelled me so much I contemplated hopping into the parade with a hand made banner stating "Fascists for faggots!" just to steal their thunder and make people do a double-take. Look it's real nice that the politicians give two cents but could they do it sometime when there are less than a bazillion newscameras around and not when it's only six weeks til election? It made me a little ill to see all that "vote-fishing". Gag.

Only posting this image here of the "Left party" (they dropped the word "communist" off their party name when it became unfashionable) who really need to hire a copywriter. Their sign reads "200000 new jobs in the public sector" when "more bureacracy" is a lot snappier.

Sadly I didn't get a focused shot of the Center party's contribution. They had a truck with some dancing people, their party leader Maud Olofsson walking front and center head held up high and flanked by some skiddish looking boys I assume were body guards. A trail of people dressed in something that looked like lab coats over green sweaters carying signs saying "Cure Sweden" marched behind her. Eh? Cure from what exactly? Also on the signs and lab coats "Sweden is sick" - complete with the URL (cure Sweden now). This didn't sound quite right at a pride parade - they should have chosen to do something specific for this parade to look a little less like the media whores only there for the cameras that they are.

Another brand that did OK in the parade is now Coca Cola owned "Mer" (Swedish for "more"), a classic brand of non fizzy fruit drinks. They had this little "fruit stand float" and a giant truck stocked full of a new flavour that they decided to launch on this day by giving it away for free - a strawberry passionfruit mix. All the "Mer" people wore T-shirts with the current tagline "Love More" which also worked.

Ikea had a DJ float with the slogan "come into the closet", which showed off a few mirror-door closets and a possible way to design a dressing room. Not very effective, it just looked a little naked. It didn't "wow" anyone with a nice dressing room, nor did it function as a fun float (no dancers, and the DJ's seemed a little lost). All that for a bad pun? Score= meh.

I hope to see a much better parade next year - with all that sponsor money the creativity should match. Oh, and less politicians please.

PS Bless the Scandinavian Leather Men who true to form had a float full of leatherclad men including leather hats - in this heat! Best float ever.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.