Contenders at Cannes 2024: Diageo – Johnnie Walker – Debutante Ball | Leo Burnett Australia

Leading up to Cannes Lions, we showcase creative campaigns submitted from across the Asia Pacific.

Campaign Background

Leo Burnett Australia

Despite being home to one of the biggest celebrations of Pride on the planet, many queer Australians have never attended The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

As a proud partner and official sponsor, Johnnie Walker wanted to help people take their first steps at Mardi Gras in 2024. So, we subverted the most iconic coming-out tradition there was – The Debutante Ball – and gave it a big, fabulous twist.

Using icons of the first-ever Mardi Gras, we invited LGBTQIIA+ Australians to attend their first-ever Pride experience. We heard from thousands who had never attended for nuanced and often heartfelt reasons. and selected a diverse group spanning the length and breadth of the country, to come and make their debut with us in style.

We transformed an iconic queer landmark in Sydney, The Kinselas Hotel, into a grand queer-themed ballroom where our ‘Debs’ were announced to the community at large.

The Debutante Ball made international and national headlines and generated more than 300 million earned impressions and 100% positive sentiment.

The Work

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