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FCB at Chicago’s Pride Parade: #ExpressYourSelfie

​By Dan Spillman, Senior Art Director, FCB Chicago

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This past Sunday marked the 45th annual Chicago Pride Parade, a celebration of the progress and contributions of the LGBT community in both the Windy City and beyond. For the third year in a row, FCB Chicago walked alongside churches, corporations and clients in one of the nation's largest pride parades.

In honor of our third year walking the route, FCB Chicago felt the need to step it up. For previous parades, we had focused on themes like artistic creation and marriage equality. This year, we wanted to get more people involved, and open things up for interaction and collaboration. And so, the theme #ExpressYourSelfie was born.

Using selfie sticks and smart phones, we got the parade-goers involved, taking selfies and handing out hash-tagged bracelets as we got our dance on along the route. Posting these photos under the hashtag #ExpressYourSelfie allowed people to get a unique glimpse into the parade. In addition to the pictures of floats and parade walkers, the crowd could see themselves in pictures of the event. Our mirrored float even became a moving real-time selfie.

To top it all off, we were able to express ourselves and increase the spectacle by enlisting two airbrush face and hair painters to give our walkers the rainbow treatment. All in all, the crowd seemed to love it. Measuring by noise-o-meter (aka cheering and clapping – clearly the most accurate way to measure anything), we had the best response of any of the years we've participated. It was a great opportunity to let more than a million people (by city official estimates) get in on the fun and see what kind of creative and engaging experiences we could create as advertising professionals.

It's exciting to work for a company whose commitment to diversity and inclusivity is without a doubt a core belief. The amount of enthusiasm shown by fellow co-workers for everything from the big pride idea to the float-planning to attending and making the parade a success was truly impressive. The event showcases Chicago as the city to be in for inspiring and creative ideas.

So from all of us here at FCB Chicago, happy pride and see you next year!

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FCB Chicago's mirrored float

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 Selfie sticks enable the crowd to be part of the parade