Behind The Scenes Look At Ad Production Team Launched on National Inclusion Week
A campaign believed to have been made by the most inclusive production team assembled has set a new benchmark for the broadcast industry by focusing on accessibility during recruitment.
Following a recent business re-focus putting the client at the heart of everything, legal and financial services firm Irwin Mitchell launched a new, powerful campaign - The Human Touch – which features real clients sharing personal stories highlighting the impact of case outcomes.
Global, full-service agency Merkle B2B, created the campaign and partnered with creative studio Annex and their director Oscar Cariss to bring the project to life along with renowned photographer and filmmaker Rankin.
The brief was to ensure inclusivity was at the heart of the campaign with an opportunity not just to reflect inclusion on screen but to also ensure that the production team was as inclusive as possible. The campaign included TV, photography and a suite of film, highlighting the behind the camera talent.
The full production team was made up of 60% disabled people in senior roles, a stark contrast to the 9% that make up the creative industry and a nod to the work that Irwin Mitchell is currently implementing to become a more inclusive employer as part of its aims to be a leading responsible business. Oscar Carris directed the commercials, whilst the photography was shot by blind photographer, Ian Treherne, under the mentorship of Rankin. The make-up was by artist Bryanna Angel Ryder, who has lupus and partial hearing while musician Derek Paravicin who is blind and autistic, was on piano.
The recruitment process involved speaking to the British Film Institute (BFI), which has a disability screen advisory group, and with Channel 4, whose Paralympic films have been multi-award-winning. The agency, Merkle, also researched Facebook groups for differently abled creatives and specialist talent agencies.
A behind the scenes film captured by wheelchair using director, Owen Tooth, has been launched to coincide with the start of National Inclusion Week (27 September).
Expert Opinion“We took an inclusive approach to producing this campaign that will change public perceptions within the broadcast industry. As well as using real clients, not actors, we’ve assembled a behind-the-camera team made up of people who are often overlooked: those with disabilities both hidden and visible. It's about giving opportunities to talented individuals who don’t always receive the opportunities they deserve.
“We have an aim to be a leading responsible business and that involves improving our own sustainability and inclusion. We’ve taken the opportunity to step back and review our commitment to inclusion and disability accessibility as part of this process. Its only by taking action that we will be able to influence changes both within our organisation and the wider world.” Victoria Brackett - Group Chief Commercial Officer
Jason Fletcher, executive creative director, Merkle B2B, comments: “We are privileged to have worked on this campaign, which I have to say, has to have been one of the best experiences of my career. Meeting some of the clients and sharing some of the personal stories was so inspirational.
Then, to have discovered such brilliant people to work within our truly diverse team really makes the campaign a success before it even airs. We partnered with them across our whole production including directing, photography, sound, hair and make-up, voiceover, music and editing.
What we are really hoping for is that this inspires other creative agencies and production companies to use more disabled talent, an area that the industry has been lagging behind on for many years. This campaign is testament to the fact that differences of perspective only add richness to creative concepts, seeing Ian at work with Rankin was truly incredible. Hopefully this can drive change and open up more opportunities for a community that is often discriminated against.”
The core concept of the new campaign is about connecting with clients on a human level and understanding their situation. It brings to life the very personal emotions that individuals go through in moments that matter and how Irwin Mitchell have the empathy to understand and deal with. Whether clients are experiencing heightened emotions like anger and vulnerability, or more subtle emotions like doubt and insecurity, Irwin Mitchell helps them to transition to more positive state.