As it kicks off a new partnership with Pride Toronto, Mercedes-Benz Canada is using the transformative power of art to show its support for the LGBTQ2 Community.
A newly unveiled mural in Toronto sends a message of love and inclusivity, while a corresponding digital campaign takes a stand against abuse and hate speech.
“This year, we are celebrating a new relationship with Pride Toronto. To underscore our commitment to this event and to the broader Pride movement, we wanted to take a stand and shine a light on the real effects of hate speech and homophobic/transphobic vandalism,” says Virginie Aubert, vice-president of Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Canada.
BBDO, Mercedes-Benz Canada’s agency of record, developed the concept and commissioned Toronto-based queer artist Thomarya “Tee” Fergus to create a mural that was inspired by conversations with people from the LGBTQ2 community who have experienced hate speech, bullying and discrimination. Based on their stories, Fergus created a mural she hopes will encourage healing.
The interviews and the process of creating the mural were captured for a short documentary.
The five-minute documentary, called Painted with Love, is part of a digital campaign that aims to show the real impact of hateful words and slurs by sharing the stories of those who have been affected by them.
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the mural and documentary at a small screening on Thursday, June 22.
Even before the official unveiling, the mural – painted on the exterior of a warehouse at Dovercourt and Dupont – was drawing attention. People were posting pictures online, often with #LoveTransforms in the caption, a hashtag that mirrors language from the mural.