Welcome to the DEI+ Campaign Spotlight, where we highlight various campaigns that embed DEI strategies into their marketing plans. By sharing these ideas and sparking a conversation around DEI, our society can continue to both learn and unlearn our ever-changing consumer trends.
In our previous DEI+ Campaign Spotlight, we highlighted LEGO’s A-Z of Awesome Campaign, which aimed to foster an inclusive space to build understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ2+ communities and hold open conversations about self-expression and sexual identities.
This Week's Campaign Highlight: Apple's The Greatest Ad
This week we're taking a look at Apple’s The Greatest campaign. In the almost two-and-a-half minute long ad, viewers are shown the day-to-day lives of differently-abled folks and how Apple’s products can help them to lead more fulfilling, accessible, and independent lives. For example, one scene features a hearing-impaired parent receiving a sound recognition notification on their Apple Watch to alert them that their baby is crying, while another demonstrates how a visually-impaired person uses their iPhone to detect doors.
Apple Integrating DEI+ Values into Soundtracks & Audio
The advertisement brings representation closer to home thanks to a soundtrack from female Australian Indigenous singers Spinifex Gum. With lyrics taken directly from legendary boxer Muhammad Ali’s “I Am the Greatest” speech, the song makes a powerful impact on viewers as they’re shown how differently-abled folks take on life’s challenges through some support from Apple products.
"I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was." - Muhammed Ali
The Key to Apple's Successful Campaign – People Over Product
Apple’s campaign sought to challenge the representation of consumers in marketing. By normalizing the various day-to-day activities of differently-abled folks, audiences are challenged to view user experience (or UX) from a perspective that goes beyond abled folks.
Another powerful aspect of the campaign is that Apple didn’t center its marketing strategy on its various products and their specs, but rather on connecting with consumers. By putting in extra effort towards communicating user experience and representation, Apple as a brand continues to successfully market its products in a memorable, positive manner.
Prioritizing Disability Inclusion Means Representing Our Community
Brands that celebrate and embrace differences help to shape the next generations by inspiring them to believe in themselves. Unfortunately, according to research from the World Health Organization, up to half of businesses in OECD countries prefer to pay fines rather than meet quotas on disability.
Activist Caroline Casey has shown how brands that take disability inclusion seriously will be the real winners of the future economy. Differently-abled folks represent over 15% of the global population, and too many brands fail to include this substantial population in their campaigns. Being inclusive of folks with disabilities can empower brands to not only appeal to a wider customer base but attract and retain the very best talent as well. Furthermore, companies that demonstrate disability confidence achieve 28% higher revenue and 30% higher economic profits than those that don’t.
Apple’s The Greatest campaign is a conversation starter for consumers and an opportunity for brands to reflect on how they can utilize their positions of impact and power to bring about a more inclusive society. How can you contribute to this movement in making digital platforms more inclusive?
Additional Learning Resources:
- The Importance of Inclusive Language in Your Digital Marketing Strategy
- Social Media Accessibility: Inclusive Design Tips for 2023
- Responsible Design: Why Should Businesses Prioritize It?