The technology behind ANZ’s light-up wristbands

Glitter, sparkle, colour and sound took centre stage at this weekend’s Pride Parade in Auckland, and as an extension of its #HoldTight campaign launched earlier this month, ANZ showcased its light-up wristbands powered by Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. 

Created as a collaborative effort between TBWA Melbourne and Auckland, the campaign focuses on supporting members of the LGBTIQ community to feel comfortable to hold hands and show their love in public. The wristbands—which light up when they are close to one another—are a simple physical extension of this message.

Last week, ANZ debuted the wristbands to the public by launching an activation to create “the biggest line of love ever seen on Auckland’s pink Lightpath”.

With GAYTMs being a very visible representation of ANZ’s support for Pride Festival over the last few years, the wristbands add a more personal touch to the wider #HoldTight campaign. 

So far, 1000 wristbands have been distributed with most of the wristbands handed out to the public by ANZ marchers along the Auckland Pride Parade route on Ponsonby Road. Other wristbands were given out to competition winners on Facebook and to key influencers in the LGBTIQ community and social media, such as actress Grace Palmer and entertainer LaQuisha St Redfern.

Also as part of the campaign, ANZ is encouraging people to share images on social media of them holding hands with someone special with the hashtag #HoldTight. When the hashtag is used on Twitter, a custom emoji will also generate.

The campaign was inspired by research that showed the New Zealand LGBTIQ community was more than twice as likely (39 percent) than non-LGBTI (18 percent) to have felt uncomfortable holding hands in public. 

“ANZ is using #HoldTight as a platform to share an important message about diversity, inclusion and respect,” says Astrud Burgess, head of marketing at ANZ.

“The response to the #HoldTight video has been overwhelming. It has certainly touched on an insight that many in the LGBTIQ community can relate to. Hopefully, it has played some small part in encouraging and accepting this simple display of affection for all people.”

With Auckland’s Pride Parade now in its fifth year, this weekend’s event was the biggest parade yet attracting more than 3000 participants and thousands more spectators.

Big businesses, such as ANZ, are increasingly joining in on the festivities such as ASB, Fletcher Building and Southern Cross.

In Australia, wristbands will be handed out by ANZ marchers at the Sydney Mardi Gras on the 4 March. 

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