A group of UK agencies and Channel4 are lending their talents to the #SoWhiteProject initiative which is designed to introduce more diverse images for content across advertising and media. These partners contributed both financial support and helped to create imagery for the campaign.
The participating agencies include: MediaCom, FCB Inferno, Valenstein & Fatt, Saatchi & Saatchi, AMV BBDO, Google, Ogilvy, Wieden + Kennedy, We Are Social, MARS, Y&R London, Mindshare, Carat, McCann London, BBH, Creature and Sunshine.
The new effort promotes diversity at key moments when family and friends gather at summer events and activities. Models were provided by the Looks Like Me agency and the imagery was shot by photographer, Helen Marsden.
"It is critical that we continue to represent society fairly, so when children type in 'family summer holiday' and look at the images online, they see children that look like them," says Selma Nicholls, co-founder of #SoWhiteProject and CEO of Looks Like Me talent agency. "Our aim is to continue to work closely with the marketing and advertising world that represents our children."
The goal of those involved with this initiative is to "stop reinforcing stereotypes and show the world as it truly is rather than just a representation of the confirmation bias bubble we're all living in," said Nichols.
Sunshine's Wren Graham adds, "We hope this campaign will inspire other businesses and agencies to use more diverse imagery. It's our responsibility to reflect society."
This summer collaboration also involves OOH media company PRIMESIGHT and online photography provider Getty Images.
PRIMESIGHT will host inclusive messages on its OOH billboards across the UK. "Outdoor advertising is the awareness building medium, reaching 98% of the UK population every week and we're pleased that our real estate will help to start conversations nationwide on the portrayal of our diverse nation in the media," stated Naren Patel, CEO, PRIMESIGHT.
Looking forward, the project is in discussions regarding #ChristmasSoWhite, a similar initiative focused on the holiday season, but no decisions have been made as yet, says Nicholls.
This project is a giant collaboration involving major players within the business world. Originally founded by Nicholls, Graham, marketing pundit Nadya Powell (The Great British Diversity Experiment, Innovation Social) and Nathalie Gordon (Above+Beyond), the #SoWhiteProject is supported by Karen Blackett OBE, chairwoman of MediaCom, and Nishma Robb, head of marketing at Google UK.
The families presented in the campaign’s images were styled by fashion stylist Yvadney Davis and SUNUVA provided all swimwear. Michael Adeyeye serves as the videographer for the initiative.