By Danielle Long | Asia Pacific Correspondent

February 15, 2017 | 2 min read

ANZ bank is urging the LGBTIQ community to hold hands in public in a new campaign in the lead up to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Auckland Pride Festival.

The #HoldTight campaign launched this week with an emotive film, which explores how LGBTIQ couples feel reluctant to hold hands in public and features the tagline: 'When you feel like letting go, #HoldTight'.

The campaign is based on research commissioned by ANZ which revealed that members of the LGBTIQ were three times more likely to feel uncomfortable holding hands in public.

ANZ hopes the campaign will encourage the LGBTIQ community to feel comfortable with small signs of affection in public. It also hopes to encourage aussies and kiwis to support the LGBTIQ community as part of a broader push for diversity, inclusion and respect.

Carolyn Bendall, head of marketing for Australia at ANZ, said, “ANZ is using #HoldTight as a platform to share an important message about diversity, inclusion and respect and to help people understand the challenges that many members of the LGBTIQ community face. We hope to make a difference by encouraging the wider public to join in the conversation and show their support.”

ANZ has partnered with Twitter and created a custom emoji, which appears when people use the hashtag #HoldTight.

It has also developed a limited edition custom wristband, which will light up when people hold hands. The wristbands will be worn by attendees at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Auckland Pride Festival.

ANZ’s award-winning GAYTMs will also return, appearing in Sydney and Auckland. ANZ will donate card transaction fees from non-ANZ cards to charity.

The campaign is part of the financial services brand’s ongoing support for the LGBTIQ community. It has supported the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for the last 11 years and Auckland Pride Festival and Big Gay Out for eight years.

The campaign was created by TBWA.

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