Spark and Colenso BBDO Welcome All Strengths in New Pride Film for OUTLine

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The campaign expresses what it can be like for people in the trans and non-binary communities when applying for a job
Spark and Colenso BBDO Welcome All Strengths in New Pride Film for OUTLine

For Pride 2019, Spark and OUTLine wanted to remind the nation that when we talk, love wins. For 2020, they’re extending that conversation into the workplace with a new film via Colenso BBDO, focusing on recruitment within the LGBTQIA+ community.

OUTLine is a charity that offers a free support line to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their friends and family and have been a partner with Spark for two years now.

Spark and Colenso BBDO have created a new documentary-style video that touches on what it’s like for trans and non-binary people going through the recruitment process. It’s about not only affirming that OUTLine is here to support them, but also that resources for employers seeking to foster more inclusive workplaces are available.

The video is fronted by gender non-conforming performer Gabriel, also known as Princess, who through phone conversations with their mum and potential employers, demonstrates some of the employment challenges that members of the LGBTQIA+ community can face.



A recent report evaluating the health and wellbeing of trans and non-binary people in Aotearoa found that the unemployment rate among this group was more than double the general population, and more than a quarter of respondents reported that they suspect their gender expression or appearance made it harder to get paid work.

However a 2014 study of LGBT strengths suggested that through adversity and life experience, members of the rainbow community tend to develop stronger skills in the areas of social and emotional intelligence, and another study cited resilience as being a strength – skills generally considered valuable in any working environment.

Says Beth O’Brien and Thom Darlow, Colenso BBDO: “Raising awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues during Pride month is always an extremely rewarding time for us. Making work with such a diverse group of special individuals, from our star – Princess – to the director, crew, and client is a privilege. More than anything else, it reminds us why we love what we do.”

Says Frith Wilson-Hughes, social lead, Spark: “We’ve been working with OUTLine now for two years, and to be able to produce another telling story that will hopefully push further discussions to come, is something we’re incredibly proud to be a part of.”

OUTLine managing director, Claire Black said that whilst the main priority is to offer support for the rainbow community, it’s time to continue the same supportive conversation into the workplace: “I’m so pleased that we are still able to remind people of the important conversations that need to be had amongst family and friends, but also that the conversation has now evolved, and extended into the workplace.”

Says Abigail Greenwood, director of the film: “Through a rehearsal process, Princess and I work-shopped the ideas to best reflect an authentic experience of a gender non-conforming person on the day of a job interview. It was important to us both to show the struggle between conforming and being yourself. We wanted to shed light on the internal battle that a gender non-conforming person goes through everyday when faced with a binary society. Collaborating with cinematographer Maria Ines Manchego, we wanted to capture intimate cinematic images that allowed the audience to step inside this person’s experience. It was an honour and a privilege to have worked alongside Colenso, Spark, Outline and Princess Halatoa to realise a video that sheds light on another important issue facing our LGBTQIA+ community.”

The campaign launches today, backed by social content shared across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Client: Spark

Brand Lead Partner – Social: Frith Wilson-Hughes

Creative Agency: Colenso BBDO


Media Agency: PHD

Production Company: FINCH

Director: Abigail Greenwood

Genres: Documentary, People, Storytelling

Categories: Utilities, Mobile Network

Colenso BBDO, 4 months ago