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How Inclusive Brands are Shaping the Future of Creative Excellence

Inclusion director Claire McHardy outlines a five-step roadmap for applying critical thinking through a DEI lens, which includes positive portrayal, cultural nuance, authentic stories, material action, and brand permission.

The creative work honoured with the Cannes Lions 2022 Awards showcased a strong DE&I foundation, surpassing mere representation and extending into brand strategy. In this workshop entitled ‘Unlocking Creative Excellence with Powerful DE&I Strategies,’ attendees dissected last year’s LIONS Awarded work, acquiring the skills of “creative critical thinking” necessary to construct inclusive and forward-thinking brands. The workshop also offered insights into emerging movements shaping the landscape of inclusive practices such as intersectionality, allyship, cultural humility, inclusive language, equity-centred design, data-driven diversity and empowering employee resource groups.

To apply critical thinking through a DEI lens, Claire McHardy, inclusion director, suggested the following five-step road map:

  1. Positive portrayal
  2. Cultural nuance
  3. Authentic stories
  4. Material action
  5. Brand permission

But above all, the speakers say, “nothing about us, without us,” emphasizing the importance of community involvement in the process. It signifies that the community should play an integral role in content creation and decision-making.

Marcin Zerek

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