Diversity going viral: inclusion videos and their gigantic audiences

Brands and associations are using the rich video medium to tell diversity stories in colourful – sometimes confronting – ways.

Changing mindsets is a challenging task, and these videos bring the inclusion message to life through such tactics as:

  1. Reigniting media-fatigued issues
  2. Checking our biases while dispelling myths
  3. Showing how others experience the world
  4. Enhancing our cross-cultural understanding
  5. Acknowledging we share a complex world

This month Deloitte contributes to this vibrant pool of videos with the launch of Inclusive Leadership. Building on our research, this video identifies the six signature traits of an inclusive leader – traits which are also a key focus on the videos we profile below.

Tactic 1) Reigniting media-fatigued issues

Signature trait: Commitment – “Because staying the course is hard”

It can be challenging to keep a cause in the public eye over time and with impact. Some diversity issues are long-term and need refreshed approaches to keep them in the fore.

To supplement their research on wage inequality, ANZ hired Academy Award winning filmmaker Jane Campion for this video on equal future. It showcases a striking karate demonstration by 8-year-old black belt Mahiro Takaho, ending with the message “… the system is not designed for women to succeed. Let’s create one that is”.

Tactic 2) Checking our biases and dispelling myths

Signature trait: Cognisance

We all have biases which influence our attitudes and behaviour. According to The Ad Council: “While the vast majority… consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see”.

In a mock screen test, the Always #LikeAGirl campaign shows how people interpret the requests of run like a girl / throw like a girl / fight like a girl to mean something akin to ‘clumsily and ineffectively’. When asked why they went for this approach, we see their embarrassment and then reprieve. The message is “rewrite the rules” – an invitation to be conscious and buck trends.

Similarly, in the ‘Love has no labels’ commercial from the Ad Council, the public shows astonishment, surprise, joy and sometimes discomfort as skeletons interacting behind a screen are revealed to be different groupings of race, age, gender, religion, sexuality or disability. A similar message is put forward around abolishing handicap stigma in the Free Hugs / Calins Gratuits video from Pro Infirmis, as well as in a video from Verizon calling for us “to encourage more girls to get involved in hi-tech STEM fields”.

The Ad Council’s message, which could be applied to all these videos is to “work to stop [bias] in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues”.

Tactic 3) Showing how others experience the world

Signature trait: Curiosity

‘Normal’ is a relative term. And for many people, our everyday world is a challenging and abnormal place.

Samsung launched ‘healing hands’ in 2015 – it’s a video call centre for customers with hearing disability. As part of an advertising campaign, an entire neighbourhood was taught sign language in this social experiment filmed in Turkey. Samsung describes their intent to structure a “world without barriers”, and the emotional reactions of the hearing impaired man are a reminder of how meaningful a small gesture to include can be.

Similarly, Pro Infirmis released “Because who is perfect?”. It shows us how non-representative mannequins are of the general population, especially of people with disability. Their message is: “Because who is perfect? Get closer”.

Tactic 4) Enhancing our cross-cultural understanding

Signature trait: Cultural intelligence

As a global media, social platforms give us exposure to the advertisements of diverse countries. The efforts of multinational companies like Coca Cola and Pantene to appeal to their international customers are easily accessible online.

In campaigns, “Remove labels this Ramadan” from Coca-Cola Middle East and “A Man’s a Boss, a Woman’s Bossy” from Pantene in Manila, we see how the companies expose common prejudices.

Global Chief Diversity Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, John Lewis Jr, describes the importance of being part of inclusion. “For leaders, they need to make a decision as to whether they dig in and entrench as they are, or recognise the world as it will become, and be part of the change.”

Tactic 5) Acknowledging that we share a complex world

Signature trait: Collaboration

The signature traits remind us that a key tenet of “formal and serendipitous collaboration” is having the conditions for it by connecting diverse individuals.

Deloitte UK created “Ask Yourself…”, a video encouraging people to “think about their personal responsibility to treat people with respect”. The visual examples put forward cover gender, religion, age, disability, sexuality and a general notion of ‘being yourself’. Apple also released a video regarding diversity in the workplace, promoting their belief that inclusion inspires innovation.

In one scene of the Deloitte UK video, we see a woman’s profile with the caption reading “I’m good at my job”, the image lapses to show her pregnant, and the caption changes to “I’m still good at my job”. They shine a light on stereotypes that exist, which also limit the productivity of working environments.


All of these videos abide by the remaining signature trait – ‘courage’, which involves speaking up and challenging the status quo. These videos work to stimulate the diversity discussion in a number of ways.

They put the message where the users are

Most of these videos displayed on television, and also on convenient digital channels such as YouTube with established audiences. In this case the diversity message is coming to the user instead of the other way around. This is especially true for millennial users who have a tendency to prefer digital channels.

They mix entertainment and diversity

On the journey to change mindsets, raising awareness is a necessary early step. As a medium which is visual and has strong storytelling potential, these videos have an entertainment quality to them. This can be an appetising method to bring a message across on social platforms, compared to text-heavy research findings.

They help diversity go viral

These videos help people get involved in the diversity conversation through digital engagement tools like commenting, sharing and rating For example, at the time of writing this article, #LikeAGirl has around 60 million views and 46,000 comments on YouTube. The ratings will never be 100% in one direction, but it helps to stir a public discussion which anyone can join.

We would like to thank Lisa Gulick, Monique Hughes, Edward Harran, Lenora Joseph and Matthew Gale for contributing these inclusive videos to us.

Know about other inclusive videos? Share them with us in the comments below.

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