Channel 4 has shortlisted six brands to win £1m of airtime for its Diversity in Advertising Award, an initiative to promote authentic portrayals of UK Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) cultures in advertising. Boots (Ogilvy UK), EA Sports (Adam&Eve/DBB), Lloyds Bank (MediaCom X GUAP Studios), Royal Navy (Engine) and in-house entries from Merky Books and Tesco will all go head-to-head for the prize.
What happens now?
Each finalist will present their campaign to a judging panel drawn from The Marketing Society, ISBA, Thinkbox and The Advertising Association on 18 November, with the winner to be unveiled on 26 November.
Each shortlisted brand will be given the equivalent of £250k in free advertising, even if they fail to secure the top £1m prize, as Channel 4 seeks to push as many ideas on screen as possible.
Diversity in Advertising follows research by 4Sales highlighting a failure to accurately portray the backgrounds, lives and cultures of BAME communities in advertising.
Outlining the rationale behind the initiative, Matt Salmon, sales director, Channel 4 said: “Diversity and inclusion are at the centre of everything we do at Channel 4, not only because it’s baked into our remit and is the right thing to do, but also because we know it makes business sense.“
On this year‘s challenges, Salmon said: “Despite the challenges faced by the industry in 2020, this year’s competition entries showcase some compelling campaign ideas from an eclectic variety of brands.”
Which brands have picked up the prize in the past?
Channel 4 has played a leading role in pushing diversity beyond editorial content and into the commercial sphere by tackling a different aspect of diversity each year.
The broadcaster is committed to being a force for good in the creative industries by promoting black and minority ethnic representation.
Past winners include Maltesers, which brought disability to new audiences by bringing a series of real stories to life with a dash of humour to break down barriers.
Lloyds Bank came to prominence in 2018 with a celebrity-packed mental health commercial challenging misconceptions around living with a non-visible disability.
Other winners include the RAF, which won out with a portrayal of women in the media and a ‘progressive and empowering‘' Starbucks spot which brought transgender issues to the fore as part of a brief to challenge LGBT+ stereotypes.