There are plain old ATMs, and then there are gorgeous GAYTMs covered in rhinestones, sequins, and leather–at least in Sydney. ANZ (shorthand for the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited) commissioned artists to glam up ATMs located in its central Sydney bank branches in celebration of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. ANZ has been a sponsor of the event for eight years and became the festival’s inaugural principal partner this year.
“We wanted to do something special to celebrate ANZ’s becoming principal partner of the Sydney Mardi Gras and to show our support for diversity and the LGBTI community. ATMs are a key touch point between us and our customers, so we’ve transformed the experience of getting cash out into something fun and in the spirit of the Mardi Gras festival,” says Carolyn Bendall, head of Australian marketing for ANZ.
The creative idea was developed by ANZ’s lead advertising agency Whybin/TBWA Melbourne, and the agency brought in The Glue Society to create the GAYTMs. “We decided early in the piece that the GAYTMs had to be as fabulous as the Mardi Gras itself, both in design and execution,” Bendall says.
The design of the GAYTMs–a total of 10 were bejeweled by hand in rhinestones, sequins, leather, denim, and other materials–was inspired by LGBTI culture, and each one is a work of art that tells a unique story. While the “Hello Sailor” GAYTM celebrates the Australian Defence Force allowing its members to march in the Mardi Gras parade in uniform for the first time last year, the “Pride” GAYTM represents the rainbow, a symbol of diversity.
The construction of the GAYTMs took approximately 2,500 hours. “The artists created a mold designed to fit each ATM that they then used to fabricate an acrylic shell. All of the rhinestones, fur and other materials were affixed to this shell, which was then fitted onto each ATM,” Bendall explains.
A notable factoid: More than 620,000 rhinestones were affixed to the machines.
The installation process began on February 21, and all of the GAYTMs were up and running by the morning of February 23. They all print out rainbow-colored receipts, and the screens on select machines share messages like “Cash out and proud” and “Happy Mardi Gras!”
The GAYTMs will remain in place in their current locations until March 5, and ANZ is currently working on a plan to relocate them to permanent locations. People love the machines, according to Bendall, who says ANZ’s Twitter handle @ANZ_AU was trending in Sydney on February 22, and the public continues to use hashtag #GAYTM to share messages of support on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
ANZ is donating ATM operator fees collected from non-ANZ cardholders who use the GAYTMs to Twenty10, a nonprofit organization that supports people dealing with gender and sexuality issues as well as their families and friends.
As for why ANZ is so supportive of the LGBTI community, Bendall says, “ANZ’s Pride Network promotes diversity, inclusion, and respect for the bank’s staff and customers worldwide. This association is about encouraging an environment where everyone feels comfortable being themselves at work. We want the best people to work at our organization, and given how many people identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex, we want to make sure that everyone feels welcome at ANZ regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”