Often, when developing products, creative, missions and visions, brands make one of two mistakes: fail to consider any potential consumers that fall outside of their own lived experiences, or feature underrepresented populations in the form of monolithic stereotypes.
In order to speak to all consumers and showcase the multi-hyphenate that exists within us all, it's crucial for brands to work with creators who rarely see their identities accurately (if at all) represented in the brands the buy from, and to empower them to share their learned and lived experiences.
adam & eveDDB agency is empowering underrepresented creators and their beautifully complicated identities through creative campaigns. Here's what you can learn from them.
adam & eveDDB recently worked with the Paralympic International Committee on the #Wethe15 campaign, highlighting how 15% of the global population identifies as disabled, and therefore challenging brands who say that disabled people do not fall within their target market.
adam & eveDDB also worked with Virgin Media to develop a spot following the love story between two gamers, one of which was in a wheelchair (though that aspect of his identity was not mentioned in the ad).
“Not every ad about disability has to be an advocacy ad," Bukola Garry, adam&eveDDB’s head of diversity, equality and inclusion, told Adweek.
Garry is also leading the agency in speaking out against brand forgetfulness of representation after a 'moment' has passed - such as in the case of the Black Lives Matter movement quickly receiving and losing brands' attention in 2020. She warned that agencies lacking an intentional focus on diversity, equity and inclusion will lose clients due to a dip in campaign success and resonance.
"There's an opportunity to really take stock in terms of the learnings and thinking about the infrastructure that is needed around diversity, equality and inclusion," Garry told Campaign.
1. Ignoring disabled consumers because they don't "fall within your target market" is dismissive of the existence of multi-hyphenate identities: disabled consumers exist in pretty much any audience you're looking to reach. The same principle applies to most identifiers.
2. Agencies and brands need to intentionally implement diversity, equity and inclusion into their year-round practices for staffing, content creation, product development and core values. It's no longer enough to 'react' when social movements surrounding representation are in the news.