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With Mardi Gras festivities well underway, Absolut Vodka has brought back its Absolut Rainbow bottle and a new love letters campaign to share stories of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, as part of the event.

The Absolut Rainbow bottle is a limited edition run during the Mardi Gras season each year, and was made in collaboration with Gilbert Baker, the designer of the original flag.

The 2020 edition is screen printed on the glass and uses brush strokes for each colour of the rainbow flag across the bottle.

Absolut is aiming to gather one of the largest collections of positive messages in Australia through its Absolut Love Letters campaign, and share these stories publicly across the country during the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2020.

As part of the campaign, Absolut has released a Make Love Louder report, led by LGBTQ+ researcher, author and advocate Dr Shirleene Robinson. It highlights that one in four people in the LGBTQ+ community saw or heard negativity about the community on a daily basis, while three in five said at least once a week and almost all (95 per cent) have seen or heard it in their lifetime.

The research also found three in four allies and friends say they are silent supporters (73 per cent), highlighting the importance of vocal and overt support for the community in the current climate of discrimination.

Absolut’s involvement during Mardi Gras first started in the 1980s as the company continues to “take pride in diversity” and “celebrate difference in unity”.

Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said: “We’re excited to welcome Absolut back as partner for our festival this year.”

“Absolut has a long-standing legacy of supporting the LGBTQ+ community across the world, and we are proud to partner with them as they Make Love Louder this year.”

Kruger said such brand associations to the event can drive particular messages home, as well as demonstrating to consumers how these companies are championing these messages.

“It’s a brand building exercise to show consumers how these companies are proud supporters of the community and supporting the diversity agenda,” he told PKN. “It's a similar vein to how proceeds from products are giving back to development programs, and how brands build trust.”

“There's more engagement from brands than ever before, but there is an increasing expectation from Mardi Gras to push back on the responsibility of these corporates to demonstrate they are LGBTQ+ focussed, and that they support equal rights and diversity,” Kruger said.

The Absolut Rainbow bottle will be available in liquor stores across Australia for RRP $48.99.

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