Standing tall: when brands speak out for diversity

Standing tall: diversity

In the world of advertising, it’s a generally accepted truth that diversity is, on a whole, lacking.

Taking a stand against the social stigmas that still exist in society today, brands are beginning to send a clear message through their campaigns – diversity, and equality, are something to be cherished and encouraged.

Creative Culture presents some of our favourite international and local campaigns from the last few years.

United by Half
In honour of International Women’s Day 2017, and as a part of their Women Empowerment Program, Italian brand United Colors of Benetton released a campaign in support of gender equality.

Launched specifically in the Indian market, the film shows girls and women as equals in every aspect of their lives, helping to combat social taboos that still exist in the country today.

Hearing Hands
In 2015, Samsung brought an entire community together in order to introduce their new video call centre service for the hearing-impaired.

The Turkish participants secretly learned sign language to surprise a hearing impaired man in their community. In a choreographed sequence, the entire town communicates with him for the first time, and at the end, he is introduced to the new service. The advert ends in happy tears and reminds us all that ‘standard’ services may not actually be available to all, notably those with disabilities.

All that we share
Danish television network TV2 recently released a campaign to remind us not to judge a book by its cover. In its experiential campaign, men, women and children from all walks of life discover just how much they have in common.

The advert speaks volumes because, in addition to broaching the subjects of class divides and social status, it features several immigrants who are currently living in Denmark, helping to combat the negative stigma that is often associated with asylum seekers.

Leftover women
Tackling a social stigma head on, SK-II released a campaign in 2016 shedding light on China’s ‘leftover women’. Negatively labelled by society, unmarried women over the age of 25 are often made to feel less than.

In this powerful advert, the Japanese beauty brand gives these women a voice, showing the world that despite the stigma, they are independent, successful, and above all, happy.

As brands like Nike have recently demonstrated with the Nike Pro Hijab, tailoring your products to an untapped niche target market can pay off. When it comes to strategy, the most powerful messages are those that carry an emotional weight, and that of unity proves to be particularly relevant in our current global political context.