Smart Canada kicked off its sponsorship of WorldPride 2014 by hosting a rally with Smart owners in Toronto.
Sixty five Smart Fortwo drivers gathered at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition grounds, where they were given window flags and bumper stickers that read “yield for change” to place on their cars. The vehicles then drove in convoy to the Mercedes-Benz Canada head office across town. The rally concluded with a barbecue lunch in celebration of WorldPride, which takes place in Toronto June 20 to 29.
Smart Canada said WorldPride is a natural fit for the brand, which has been challenging the status quo for decades with its forward-thinking designs. “Smart is a fun car and WorldPride is a fun event; there’s a lot of openness in attitudes,” said Jay Owen, national marketing manager at Mercedez-Benz Canada. “Even our positioning, ‘open your mind’ is a very clear statement not just to the product but to the whole point of WorldPride as well.”
As the exclusive automotive sponsor, Smart has a number of activations throughout the event. The brand had the title sponsorship of the opening ceremonies on June 20, which included performances by Melissa Etheridge, Deborah Cox and Steve Grand.
Smart will also have an interactive outdoor display at Church and Maitland Streets (in the heart of the city’s Gay Village) on June 28 and 29. Festival-goers will be invited to tweet using #smartforworldpride to receive a pride-themed bumper sticker distributed by Twitter-activated vending machines. Participants can also be photographed in a Smart Fortwo Cabriolet that will make them appear to be in the WorldPride parade.
An outdoor Smart party will take place in Toronto’s Dundas Square on the evening of June 28. At the parade on June 29, 100 Smart employees and drivers will be marching alongside a fleet of Smart Fortwo electric drive vehicles.
Smart Canada worked with Immersion on the sponsorship activations and BBDO handled creative.