Kin + Carta’s Kevin Mar-Molinero chooses his ads (included) on the Deserted Island
Kevin Mar-Molinero is an experienced CTO of Kin + Carta.
Desert Island Ads
Inclusiveness is hitting the general public. For as long as I can remember, inclusive products and design have been viewed as niches – a segment that is not large enough to be worth the investment. Yet the purchasing power of disabled households, known as the purple pound, is worth £ 249 billion for a recovering economy. So surely inclusiveness should be the foundation for creative design, communications and experience in 2021 and beyond?
Hopefully change is in the air. This year’s Cannes Lions have shown an increase in work that promotes
“Inclusiveness”, but there is work to be done. As I can tell, pure commercials – like in 30 or 60 second spots – are few and far between, and so familiar when it comes to inclusiveness.
But there are some amazing and broader campaigns that deserve a shout out. He harnesses creative talents to initiate conversations, break down barriers and foster change. For me, the work below made a difference and earned its place with me on the deserted island of MAA.
Savanna – Decolonize autocorrect (follow the YouTube link.)
South Africa has 11 – yes, 11 – official languages and yet only one is identified by autocorrect… English. The much-loved South African brand, Savanna, has sought to change that. By identifying the biases in a system and using an inclusive design to counter them, his campaign has given many South Africans back their native voice by providing them with prompts and auto-correction options in their OWN language. In doing so, he began to fight against the colonization of the language and to give back the digital voice to many South Africans.
EmpowerHerNY – The Call Project
Life or death can be decided by something as simple as whether you sound “black” or “white”, whether your name sounds “black” or “white”. The power of unconscious bias in life threatening situations is frighteningly demonstrated with this project from EmpowerHerNy, and it should act as a real wake-up call against the very real tendency to ‘other’ communities, even in some. something as basic as health care. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of our own prejudices. Then it’s up to us to do better.
Lloyds Bank – Containment Learning
Not all ads have to be overt in their use of inclusive design – in fact, one of the big complaints we hear over and over as inclusive design specialists is about symbolism. Sometimes being subtle has more of an impact than being the strongest.
Is this an ad for a non-binary or transgender person? No, this is a company that adapts during containment. You might not even have realized Emma’s gender, the only clue being their choice of pronouns. Normalizing our interaction with trans or non-binary people, and showing them off in mundane environments does a lot more good than symbolic “big” gestures ever would. A true example of what progress and inclusiveness looks like.
Ikea – Thistables
It’s a brilliant initiative from Ikea. It not only directly addresses ableism in society, but also covers the medical model versus the social model of disability conversion. He includes people with disabilities in the conversation, living up to the maxim “nothing about us without us” perfectly. It also shows that by putting people with disabilities at the center of your campaign and actually demonstrating achievable change, you are not just lip-lining the notion of inclusiveness. Yes, it’s a good ad, but it’s genuine and relevant, and Ikea earned kudos with it.
Amazon Echo – Morning Ritual
The work that I am already taking on the island relates either to nuance or to problems directly addressed. This commercial – a conventional TV spot – produced in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), puts storytelling at the very center. Not only does this show how accessibility can help and improve the lives of people with disabilities, but also how the basic principle of inclusive design-build for one, extends to many – can use it as a means to create innovations for all.
The closing scene “reveals” that the central character is blind, but has used Alexa the same way we all would in our morning ritual throughout. This is why this is such a powerful and effective advertisement. The revelation normalizes our behavior and shows how accessible technology really is to everyone.
Sure / Degree – The world’s first adaptive deodorant
A Cannes winner to complete my inclusive design program. This caused quite a stir in the disability community, with discussions surrounding the traditional portrayal of disabilities and neglecting to tell the realities of the disability experience. That aside, I think this is an extremely important step in the journey towards recognizing inclusive design as a craft in its own right. Why shouldn’t deodorant be inclusive? Ads like this should hopefully open conversations across industries about how people with disabilities are excluded from society and prove that treating them as equals is a huge boon to the brand.