Royal Air Force and Engine win £1m Channel 4 diversity fund in advertising competition

The final pitch by Engine and the RAF to judges

The Royal Air Force has won Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising competition, which has seen it awarded £1m of commercial airtime.

It beat out three other finalists - Cadbury Milk Tray and Elvis Communications; eBay and 72 & Sunny Amsterdam and Flybe and McCann Bristol.

Following the rise of the #MeToo movement, the centenary of the right to vote and a focus on gender pay gaps, the broadcaster called for an advert that would “challenge engrained stereotypes, objectification and sexualisation of women” in advertising.

The Royal Air Force campaign which was developed by Engine in response to the set theme will air in February 2019.

“The campaign vividly encapsulates the issues and I really hope the moment it airs on Channel 4 will act as a catalyst for change in how women are portrayed in advertising,” said Matt Salmon, the broadcaster’s head of agency and client sales.

The judging panel was made up of leading figures from the advertising industry, including the Advertising Association; IPA; The Marketing Society; Thinkbox – and included Karen Fraser MBE, director of Credos, advertising’s think tank.

Louise Hayward, managing partner at Engine said: “We’re so passionate about this idea, it’s an amazing feeling to have won. The Royal Air Force are already making incredible progress for women and this idea will only help bring their great work to a wider audience. We’ve worked closely together from day one and we can’t wait to get started.”

It marks the third year of the Channel 4 award, which aims to encourage the advertising industry to embrace inclusive campaigns. Previous winners include Mars and Lloyds Bank.

The scheme will run at least until 2020,

The other finalists will be offered match-funded commercial airtime of up to £250,000 if they make the adverts pitched to the judging panel.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.