The risk associated with big, crowded events in the era of Covid-19 has meant that LGBTQ Pride Month is looking significantly different this year. Rather than colorful, energetic parades taking over city streets around the planet, the celebrations—like everything else—have largely shifted online.
In São Paulo, Brazil, the annual Pride parade along Avenida Paulista has been breaking world records with its millions of attendees since 2006. To honor the power of that gathering and keep it connected to the place where up to 5 million march each year, Mercado Livre teamed up with the São Paulo Pride Parade, Gut São Paulo and Brazilian singer, songwriter and LGBTQ activist Gloria Groove to bring the parade route to life in spite of the pandemic.
The campaign, called Feed Parade, encourages would-be parade attendees to comment on its Instagram posts, each of which shows a small portion of the parade route. Scrolling through the feed, users can see a bird’s eye view of those empty streets. Then, by tagging themselves in or commenting on the photos, users get a chance to be featured in a music video that Gloria Groove will drop on June 28.
“Paulista Avenue is the epicenter of cultural manifestations in Brazil,” said Gut São Paulo executive creative director Bruno Brux. Calling the street a “landmark of democracy,” he added that “bringing Paulista Avenue to the Instagram feed was a way of creating yet another level of emotional connection with a community that for many years has used it as the center stage for the celebration of their pride and fight for equal rights.”
Brux also noted that the agency took care to ensure that each part of the campaign was done with “a lot of respect and regard for the movement.” That included building an LGBTQ insight squad, he said, as well as ensuring that the directors shooting the campaign would effectively represent the community.
Mercado Livre has been supporting the São Paulo Pride Parade for the last three years, according to the company’s branding manager, Iuri Maia. In a year where the community’s traditional celebration has been upended, the brand wanted to ensure that the spirit of Pride wasn’t dampened as a result of Covid-19.
“Regardless of the situation we’re in, we want to give visibility on the daily struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community and help them celebrate their pride, even from home,” said Maia.
Just 24 hours after the Instagram feed went live, the posts had more than 40,000 comments, and the account has more than 20,500 followers. Gut and Mercado Livre have also recruited a team of influencers to participate in an educational portion of the campaign, including musician Mahmundi, actor, YouTuber and drag queen Rita Von Hunty, singer and actress Preta Gil and activists Caio Braz and Nataly Neri.
“At this moment in history, where the rights of our community and of people are being threatened, we hope this idea reaches as many people as possible with a message of love, boldness, comfort and hope that better days are coming,” said a representative member of the São Paulo Pride Parade Association.