“In the same way that consumers look to brands to promote environmental concerns, they also now look to brands to do more for humanity, and for inclusion. Brands have the power to change the way that society thinks about disability.”
– Sarah Newton, Minister of state for Disabled People, Health and Work.
We know that the landscape of modern marketing is now about delivering broader brand experiences with the consumer at the heart. Therefore, there are more opportunities than ever to effect huge-scale change through the delivery of these experiences.
Brands that are tapping into this opportunity are seeing huge benefits to brand affinity and equity (see our example below). Getting it wrong, on the other hand can be extremely costly for an organisation – there are often fines attached but more importantly damage inflicted to their brand.
When it comes to risk, organisations are too often caught up in legal compliance. Due to conflicting and inconsistent legal obligations, this has proved to be a high-risk strategy.
Building best practice is the only way to turn risk to business and brand benefits.
Who’s leading the way?
A Maltesers ad featuring disabled actors proved to be the most successful advert for the brand in a decade. Mars VP Marketing at the time said that the push was the best, most effective effort for 10 years on the Maltesers brand – with ROI that exceeded expectations. Brand affinity rose by 20% – double what they had hoped.
The advertisement shown here was part of their ‘look on the light side’ campaign. It uses model-made Maltesers as braille to tell the true story of a blind lady waiting at a bus stop who accidentally got on a fire engine instead. To make it accessible to all, it included an audio description and a translation hosted on its Facebook page.
“We believed diversity sells but we didn’t know if it was true. The information we have at the moment says it is true.”
– Michele Oliver, Mars