Today sees the launch of an initiative that seeks to draw attention to the under-representation of the BAME (British Black Asian and Ethnic minorities) community in advertising and marketing, with particular focus on Easter. #EasterSoWhite is the latest evolution of the #SoWhiteProject, which first launched with #ChristmasSoWhite in 2016. The new campaign aims to counter the “cultural white-wash” often presented in imagery around Easter and find a solution to the under-representation of the Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities in advertising. It does this by showing that diversity is not just for Christmas by continuing to promote diversity at key moments in the year.
The So White Project has announced that all #EasterSowhite imagery, captured by photographer Helen Marsden, will be available royalty free via Getty Images for everyone to use in their marketing and advertising efforts. Getty is the biggest online photography platform in the world, and having contributor status with Getty allows The So White Project the opportunity to provide more diverse imagery to creative industries with immediate effect. The project is also, of course, very active on social media. Using the hashtag #EasterSoWhite, users will be driven to the So White Project hub, while a partnership with Exterion and Primesight will enable the imagery to be featured in OOH locations throughout the UK includingWestfield shopping centres, Cinema Foyers, Railway Stations and local high streets. Models for the campaign were supplied by Selma Nicholls' agency Looks Like Me, which seeks to raise the profile of underrepresented groups.
Nicholls, who is one of the founders of the project, said: “Looks Like Me brings vibrancy and positive representation of BAME children & families to the EasterSowhite campaign, sharing with everyone different cultural traditions during the Easter period.” Nadya Powell, another one of the campaigns co-founders, added: “With #EasterSOwhite it was important to build on the diversity message we established at Christmas so including diverse cultural traditions was a really exciting next step. It doesn’t end here and for #SummerSOwhite we are having exciting conversations with diversity organisations to represent the full wonderful diversity of the UK. There is no element of diversity we won’t represent.”
Matt Law, Chief Operating Officer at AnalogFolk, one of the agencies backing the campaign, said: “As communicators, we should know better than anyone that the images we are exposed to, and the stories that businesses tell create the lens through which we all see the world. We are glad to have had the opportunity to support the #EasterSoWhite campaign and make a small step to creating a culture more representative of everyone in it.” Naren Patel, CEO of Primesight, added: “Seeing our industry gradually waking up to the difference we need to make in the world, we’re proud to be hosting #EasterSOwhite’s message of diversity and inclusion on our billboards. Outdoor Advertising is the awareness building medium, reaching 98% of the UK population every week and we’re pleased that our estate will help to start conversations nationwide on the portrayal of our diverse nation in the media.”
The campaign has been backed by a roster of ten brands, platforms and agencies including: Google; Above+Beyond; AnalogFolk; BBH; DigitasLBi; Dentsu Aegis Network; New Look; Saatchi & Saatchi; Sunshine and Media.com.