Marketing Featured ANZ

BWS marks Mardi Gras with new ‘BWYASSS Runway’

Sydney, Australia – In celebration of Carnival season’s Mardi Gras and Pride Month, the Australian retail chain of liquor stores, BWS, has launched its new in-store activation and content series, ‘BWYASSS Runway’.

The runway was developed in collaboration with members of The House of Silky and The House of Slé, music producer Mirasia, and a production crew within the ballroom community via marketing agency M&C Saatchi Sydney, and the media strategy and buying were managed by Dentsu’s media agency Carat.

BWS said that the runway, in ballroom culture, was pioneered by Black and Latinx trans women and queer people because the community needed a place to express themselves, without judgement. The BWYASSS Runway was created with the same intention, which is to remind people that BWS is a place where everyone belongs and all are welcome.

In 2021, BWS has rebranded its Oxford street store to ‘BWYASSSS’ during Mardi Gras, and this year, as a national show of support for the LGBTQIA+ community, it is permanently rebranding stores across every state. Moreover, BWS has also launched the ‘Loud & Proud’ drinks range in partnership with Pinnacle Drinks, in which 100% of the range’s profit will be donated to the Pride Foundation of Australia.

Meg Clark, the head of marketing at BWS, shared that at BWS, they encourage an environment of diversity and inclusion for their customers and team, and they also want everyone to feel welcome when they walk into any BWS store no matter how they identify.

“Permanently rebranding an additional seven stores nationally to BWYASSS is just one way we want to show our support of the LBGTQIA+ community,” said Clark. 

Meanwhile, Brendan Donnelly, M&C Saatchi Sydney’s creative director, said, “Ballroom is a vibrant subculture within the pride community. We wanted to celebrate that with The Runway and the shared value of acceptance and let people know they can express themselves freely at BWS.”

BWYASSS’ runway and ‘Loud & Proud’ range have been rolled out on Spotify, featuring their own Mardi Gras playlist, as well as in social, street posters, and influencer activity.