Stay ahead – join The Drum+

Ctrl, alt, educate: the keyboard app from HavasPlus that deletes racist language

HavasPlus won ‘Best Digital Campaign’ at The Drum Awards for Social Purpose, with its work for TIM Brazil. The Awareness Keyboard is an app that detects racist language and educates users about its problems, helping people communicate inclusively. Here, the team behind this winning entry explains how it was brought to life.

TIM Brazil is the Brazilian subsidiary of Telcom Italia, an Italian telecommunications company which provides telephony services, mobile services, and DSL data services.  

Brazil has a dark history when it comes to slavery, one that is still reflected today. Popular expressions are in use that have racist origins. Structural racism is ingrained in society: it is evident in thought, speech, and attitude.

Anti-racist activism on social networks represented an opportunity for the brand to mobilize against hate speech, particularly with people looking for more content and information on this issue.  Also, the #BlackLivesMatter movement reactivated and bolstered the importance of anti-racist conversation. 

TIM has implemented several projects promoting diversity and inclusion, and the issue has become one of the most relevant pillars of the brand.  

Through social listening, we noticed that people were asking for help in identifying alternatives to racist terms used in conversations, it was a recurrent theme, particularly during the days leading to Black Awareness Day, so we decided to use this data to help us make a positive impact.

We wanted to start a relevant discussion about racism, positioning TIM as an activist brand that is part of this urgent conversation.

More than just correcting, the idea is to educate people about their everyday vocabulary and attitudes, to help deconstruct structural racism by showing the reason for the correction, highlighting the racist words, and explaining the importance of banishing their use.

So, we developed the “Conscious Keyboard”, an app that – whenever someone types a racist term – corrects and explains why it is wrong to use it. To use the keyboard, the user does not need to be a TIM customer: everyone can download the app, available for free for iOS and Android. The tool is visible when the user types on social networks or message apps, and automatically highlights expressions considered inappropriate. By clicking on these terms, it 'explains' why they are considered racist and offers options to replace them - working like a social spell checker.

But it was not enough to create and develop the app's content, we needed to promote it properly and encourage its download and use.

That is why we prepared a channel strategy with a schedule of phases and objectives for the launch of the TIM Awareness Keyboard. All communication had the objective of generating knowledge, engagement, buzz, and mainly encouraging the download of the keyboard application. It was an umbrella of content on TIM's relationship channels, social networks, articles, PR, websites, influencers, and spontaneous media.

During the confinement period, people have been even more connected to smartphones and social networks, looking for news and entertainment. So, we had to be present in these very meaningful media for people, giving a voice to people who could talk about this subject with authority.

We used shared, owned, and earned media, focusing on social channels.

It was led by a team of 12 black influencers with different backgrounds who came together to produce content. They were joined by popular singer IZA, TIM's brand ambassador and an important voice for the black movement, who also amplified the discussion.

The app was launched on November 20, when Brazil celebrate Black Awareness Day: a day dedicated to reflecting on black people`s participation and relevance in society, and to discussing how to enhance inclusion.

The TIM Black Squad used their own social networks to promote the content and took over on TIM's social channels - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube - including posts, tutorial videos and a livestream.

The campaign was implemented in two phases: first, we focused on pushing the conversation through our Squad in a branded content project and PR promotion. Then, we used bumper ads to encourage the download of the app, while videos and posts taught users how to use the app and its features.

The telecom category is highly criticized, with a high polarity of negative comments. In this project on TIM's social networks, we had 64% positive comments, more than 12K mentions on social networks, 165 K impressions, 11 K engagements. The “Awareness Keyboard” app was ranked among the Top 10 most downloaded apps at both app stores, with almost 20 million downloads.

When we brought the influencers into the conversation, the numbers became even more encouraging, with almost a million interactions, over 20 million impressions, more than 6,000 positive mentions, and 65% positive polarity.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Social Purpose. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.

By continuing to use The Drum, I accept the use of cookies as per The Drum's privacy policy