Creative directors at Sid Lee Paris, Celine and Clement Mornet-Landa, share five recent projects that effectively highlight the cultural diversity of the creative industry
We wanted to talk about all kinds of diversity. It's everywhere, and thankfully, advertisers are starting to make more of an effort to normalise differences, so we can celebrate and unite around them. Films like those from Nike call attention to changes that have been decades in the making and yet remind us that there is more progress to be made, as the campaign from adidas has proved. Communication comes in all different forms and can create controversy to get people talking, like Drake's album, or find ways to bring us together, like Burger King's campaign for the plant-based Whopper. Advertising is both a reflection of society and a way to move it forward - that's the beauty behind the branding...
adidas - 'Support Is Everything'
As more and more brands talk about diversity, it takes more and more originality to be heard. Even boldness. So this one goes a step further in showing what can’t be shown. Tricky. Of course, if it had been men, this wouldn’t have been controversial. But it’s by creating this controversy that Adidas is taking a step towards the normalisation of diversity - be it body size, colour or even gender - they are taking a bold step towards banality. It’s a pity that this campaign was banned though, that diversity ends when prudishness begins.
Nike - 'We Play Real'
Some films highlight people who are too often in the shadows. This is the case with this Nike film which plays off an observation that we’ve all come to realise: Black women are rarely recognised for the hard work they put in. “It’s not magic,” they say, “this is the real thing”. This example shows that some messages need a film dedicated to them, to make people aware that things don’t come about by magic, it takes work, and these women deserve credit for the change they’ve earned.
Nike - '50th Anniversary: Seen It All'
Director: Spike Lee
But the real daily work advertisers need to do is not necessarily dedicate a single film to diversity, but to infuse it into all of their work, to normalise it. This Nike film, directed by Spike Lee for the brand’s 50th anniversary, is exemplary. A film that talks to every athlete in the world and unites them around a defining aspect of athleticism - if you have a body, you are an athlete. And it shows us that, with everything we’ve seen so far, there’s much more to come - from athletes of all shapes, sizes, colours, genders - in every sport you can think of.
DRAKE - 'Certified Lover Boy'
Then there’s diversity according to Drake: offering his love to all women in the world without distinction. Album covers are a way of communicating in their own right, a way of getting people talking about a new EP on social media even before it’s released. Drake understood this well with the creation of a cover that got everyone talking, a controversial cover designed by the slightly less controversial artist Damien Hirst, showing 12 pregnant women emojis of different skin colours in different coloured shirts holding their bellies. Experts noted a mix of works by the artist (Spot Paintings and Virgin Mother), others saw it as a nod to the fact that the album’s release was delayed by nine months and others saw it as a little too much love from the 'certified lover boy'. In any case, it got people talking.
Burger King - 'Plant-Based Whopper'
Agency: DAVID Madrid
What if the idea of diversity was infinite? Because each time we succeed in coming together, new subjects differentiate us culturally, creating new forms of diversity. In the last decade especially, there’s been a new topic that’s been growing bigger and bigger: meat eaters and non-meat eaters. With this ad, Burger King is bringing them together by bringing meat lovers over to the vegan side by showing visually, and promising through taste, that their trademark whopper can offer equality.