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. There were international brands as sponsors here, not like previous years' parades in Amsterdam and New York where gay nightclubs and bars would be the most visible 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 money's worth. Everything about this float was in tune with their advertising attitude which can be summed up in a strange word: "Britishness".
They have Beefeater gin boys, a twisted sense of humor, and the Swedish version of 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 Ericsson's "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 handmade banner stating "Fascists for faggots!" just to steal their thunder and make people do a double-take.
Look it's really nice that the politicians give two cents but could they do it sometime when there are less than a bazillion news cameras around and not when it's only six weeks 'til the election? It made me a little ill to see all that "vote-fishing", it's so insincere. 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 bureaucracy" 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 skittish looking boys that I assume were bodyguards.
A trail of people dressed in something that looked like lab coats over green sweaters carrying 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 botasverige.nu (cure Sweden now).
This didn't sound 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 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 flavor 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 well in this context.
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 DJs 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 fewer politicians, please.
PS Bless the Scandinavian Leather Men who true to form had a float full of leather-clad men including leather hats - in this heat! Best float ever.