The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Create Change, Not Ads …

One of the reasons I always loved Colenso was their approach to advertising.

Rather than always make the ‘ad’ the solution – or worse, use ads to promote the problem – they used creativity to solve the challenge in front of them and then created brilliant advertising to amplify awareness of whatever solution they’d come up with.

I’d talked about this approach in a presentation I did way back in 2008 for PFSK in Singapore.

We had just launched Sunshine and I was talking about the difference between solutions and ad solutions … all while Colenso had found a way to bridge both.

They used this ‘double dipping’ creative approach for everything.

Treehouse Restaurant for Yellow Pages.
Asscam for Levi’s.
Play for Spark.
Tally for State Insurance.
X-Ray Cast for Anchor.
Speed Dial for Volkswagen.
MyHooman for Pedigree
Brewtrolium for DB Export.
K9FM for Pedigree.

There’s too many examples to write about, and now I’m at the agency that did all this brilliance.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen this approach in action almost every day.

Of course it doesn’t always work … and it doesn’t always get bought … but the idea of bringing audacious solutions to problems rather than just audacious advertising is something pretty infectious.

There are a few really exciting things on the table, but recently we launched something – with our client Spark – that doesn’t just excite me, but makes me so proud I’m going to break my habit and actually write about it.

I know, who am I?

Beyond Binary is our way to create a better internet. A more inclusive internet.

In conjunction with our client, Spark – and working alongside rainbow communities – we developed a piece of code that anyone can download and easily add to their website.

What this code does is change the field formats on websites so they no longer only offer Male or Female options.

While to many this may seem a small thing, to the Trans and Non-Binary community – of which we are talking millions – it is important. Not simply because it represents them being seen and valued by organisations, but because it stops them being forced to misidentify who they are to fit in with established internet protocols.

In addition to the code, we made a film [see below] to help communicate why this is important for the non-binary community and business … as well as a website where you can download the code, learn how to add it to your existing site, hear stories from people who are affected by this situation every day and even access a pre-written presentation you can use to show your bosses why they need to do this.

A lot of people spent a lot of time working on this – which is why I was so thrilled when Campaign Asia wrote such a lovely piece about it.

I am not saying this because they used a competitor campaign to highlight how good ours is – though that helps, hahaha – but because they got it.

The understood exactly why we did it and how we did it … and that’s important because we sweated this. A lot.

Obviously we’re very proud of Beyond Binary but the key is getting companies to take part … so if you read this blog and work for a company with a website, please can I ask you to get involved. The more inclusive we make the internet, the better it is for everyone.

Thank you Colenso for being stupid enough to bring me over.
Thank you Spark for making this actually happen.
Thank you to the communities for helping and trusting us to do this right.
Thank you to anyone who takes part.

This is why it’s so important …

12 Comments so far
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This is really really good. Simple, effective, designed for change. I also really like you have a presentation made for people to show their C-suite. So smart.

Comment by Pete

Yep …

It was almost 2 years of blood, sweat and tears by people who really cared about shepherding this through with the clarity and honesty it deserved. Fortunately the client was all in on it too … but yeah, you can tell the focus was not just about making something, but changing something.

Comment by Rob

I love this Robert. Well done to all involved.

Comment by Mary Bryant

ok campbell, this is fucking good. some of the writing in the film sounds clunky but i can overlook that for this. assume your involvement was writing this blog post about it. as fucking usual.

Comment by andy@cynic

You know it.

Comment by Rob

everyfucker knows it.

Comment by andy@cynic

This is fantastic Robert. Well done.

Comment by Lee Hill

Love love love.

Comment by Jemma King

I didn’t know much about colenso till you went there. I get why you went there. Still not sure why they wanted you to go though. (JOKE)

Comment by Bazza

It’s really good Rob.
George. Pete. Can you get g to adopt and promote this?

Comment by Bazza

Already ahead of you.

Comment by Pete

nerdy twats.

Comment by andy@cynic

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