For more than 16 years, Adcolor has been dedicated to championing diversity and inclusion in creative industries by advancing professionals of color and honoring individuals and companies that dare to be different while making a difference. The premier non-profit organization highlights these changemakers’ accomplishments and recognizes the impact they are significantly creating on the industry. The 16th Annual ADCOLOR Awards continues to create a community of diverse professionals that encourage and celebrate one another. The recently concluded Awards will air online on December 14-15 and may be streamed via Adcolor’s virtual event site here.
Presented by Amazon, Disney, Google and YouTube, this year’s ceremony signals the very much-awaited return to the in-person event since 2019. The winner and nominees in the Ad of the Year category go above and beyond to raise awareness on types of violence and hate and shed light on social issues that have bias as their root.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
A powerful PSA from the Stuttering Association for the Young (SAYorg), in partnership with creative agency BBDO, sparks a long overdue national conversation around stuttering to educate the public about how to listen to kids with stutter—by being patient and giving them as much time as they need to speak. For kids aged 3-18 years old with stutter, engaging in daily conversations can seem like public speaking: all eyes on you as you get the words out. The PSA encourages the viewers to participate in building a community of acceptance by being supportive of young people who stutter, advocating for them, and providing a safe #SpaceToStutter where they can build their confidence in communicating.
The school, next to home, is supposed to be a place at which parents feel their children would be safest, not killed. Mass shootings throughout the country have skyrocketed particularly in schools and 2021 was reportedly the year that has the most school shootings to date. Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a national nonprofit organization of family members whose loved ones were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012, raises awareness on gun violence and demands urgency on its prevention. The campaign exposes the deep-seated irreparable damage of gun violence on the youth, families and communities and advocates for its prevention by educating and mobilizing students and adults on wellness programs that identify its warning signs.
THE HUG PROJECT
The pandemic that has locked everyone down in isolation for the past two years caused most people to be filled with low spirits and gloom. Through the use of technology, Cox aided this distance with the first haptic Hug Vest to create more meaningful moments of human connection. In partnership with technology innovator CuteCircuit, Cox manufactured a wearable “HugShirt” that emulates a hug, with the shirt sensors connecting two people. The Hug Project initiative unites physically-apart families and loved ones, making them feel each other’s hugs from worlds away.
Most children love having treasure boxes where they keep their most precious possessions safely. In a similar way, growing up, transgender children tend to have their identity kept to themselves and hidden even—sometimes especially—from their own families for fear of violence and being discriminated against. UNAIDS’ ‘Unbox Me’ campaign brings to light the challenges of marginalized transgender children, raises awareness on their rights, and opens discussions within and among families. ‘Unbox Me’ is an initiative to counter the stigma around transgender people by symbolically unboxing these children’s secret to their communities and the world.
Winning this year’s Ad of the Year is Wieden+Kennedy’s short film, ‘The Myth’, which is a compelling response to the violence and hate against the races that continue to surround our global society today. ADCOLOR’s Ad of the Year annually seeks a campaign that exceeds expectations in zeroing in on the lives and stories of multicultural, LGBTQ+ and/or other historically excluded groups. ‘The Myth’ not only does exactly that, it also exposes a racial truth that is rarely realized and most often goes unnoticed.
By beginning the conversation on the myth of the “model minority”—a concept that falsely puts Asian communities above Black communities—Wieden+Kennedy exposes how this simply pits minority groups against each other through media disinformation and stereotypes and, as a result, frees systems in power from the responsibility of the oppressed of both communities. Weiden+Kennedy aims to neutralize this weapon for communities of color so that it can no longer be used against them and to put out a significant reminder: we’re all in this together.
Karen is responsible for editorial support and covers agency, digital content, and D&I news.