News
Marketing can change the world

Great British Diversity Experiment winners announced

The winners of the Great British Diversity Experiment, a cross-industry initiative to tackle the lack of diverse talent in advertising, were announced last night (25 February).

The experiment, founded by Nadya Powell (managing director, Sunshine), Daniele Fiandaca (co-founder, Creative Social), Alex Goat (managing director, Livity), Jonathan Akwue (the new chief executive at Lost Boys) and Laura Jordan-Bambach (creative partner, Mr President), was launched in an attempt to prove the positive impact of diversity in creative teams.

Over 20 diverse teams from different races, sexes, age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds took part in the experiment, with the entries judged by a panel that included Toby Horry (digital marketing director at Tesco), Jonathan Mildenhall (chief marketing officer at Airbnb), MediaCom chief executive Karen Blackett and The Drum co-founder Diane Young.

The brief set from Tesco was to come up with alternative ways of curbing food wastage at its stores and in shoppers' homes. Speaking at the event last night, held in the offices of DigitasLBi in London, Tesco's Toby Horry praised the quality of the ideas submitted: "The quality of the entries was phenomenal. A lot of the ideas submitted had an experiential element at their heart – if we're going to be creating much more experiential solutions to problems, it's imperative we have diverse authors coming up with those experiences."

The team with the winning pitch will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to this year's SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas, and a week-long placement at BBH.

The winners: 'Diversiteam'

Team members: Nic Bruck, Samuel Carpenter, Asad Dhunna, Laura Fontes, Zami Majuqwana, Laura McGee, Anushka Sharma, Renato Tata, Kat Murray-Clark and Michael Nketsiah

The winning idea from 'Diversiteam' focused on the idea of utilising the home freezer to reduce food wastage. The campaign would highlight how freezers can be used as an alternative to binning food, preserve food at no cost and keep it fresher for longer. Centred around the line 'Everybody Freeze', the campaign was described as "a national movement to make freezing cool again" using solutions such as frozen food markets, in-store 'frozen to clear' sections, freezer hacks and freezing tips in online recipes.

The runner- up: 'Waste Watchers'

The 'Waste Watchers' idea was centred on revolutionising bins in order to encourage recycling, and introducing a 'smart shopping list' app to minimise food wastage.

In joint third place:

Team One harnessed the idea of 'Now you know', which would revamp the 'best before' labelling system on food packaging, and Team Six would create a series of initiatives to make it as easy as possible for Britain to waste less food.

Research conducted by insight and strategy consultancy Flamingo during the experiment highlighted the business case for diversity. An overview of the findings presented by Greg Wells, director at Flamingo, suggested the need for a new type of creative leadership that understands the benefits of diverse teams, even if building such teams presents a challenge to traditional agency structures.

Commenting on the findings, Nadya Powell said: "Flamingo's initial findings for The Great British Diversity Experiment show that tokenism does not work. We need to achieve true diversity to enable everyone to be different and therefore no-one to be made to feel different. The country increasingly does not have a dominant majority and nor should the place we work. It also calls for a new type of leader – one that allows diverse voices to be nurtured and heard. We look forward to sharing the full results."

The full results of the experiment will be announced on 20 April at BBH and published by The Drum.

Katie McQuater

All by Katie