FRIDAY 30 APR 2021 1:57 PM


Film and animation production company, Gorilla Gorilla!, held a webinar yesterday 29 April to discuss the ways brands can bring inclusion and diversity to life through film.

Dean Beswick, founder of Gorilla, Gorilla!, opened the session by explaining the rational behind the webinar, “we’d started to see quite a bit of cliché slipping into the inclusion and diversity area, a lot of people re-treading the same creative ground.”

“We’ve also observed that people aren’t really making the most of film and animation in terms of its power to go a little bit deeper into stories and make a powerful emotional connection,” adds Beswick.

The webinar walked through some of the most successful inclusion and diversity campaigns in the last few years, before pointing out the ways film and animation can be used to explore film and animation in a more impactful way.

Powerful statements are often at the forefront of video comms, particularly when it comes to inclusion and diversity campaigns. However, many companies don’t get beyond that powerful statement.

These campaigns often include static portraits looking at the camera, stock footage and dramatic voiceovers. “For us, that’s okay but it’s lacking an emotional connection and authenticity,” adds Beswick.

To get beyond the visual cliché, the video needs to hear from the real people rather than just see them. The example below from Aviva does just that.

“The key thing for me is, it’s still relatable and feels really tangible even thought it’s got that creative wrapper around it,” adds Beswick. In terms of making that initial impact around inclusion and diversity and raising awareness, there is more to be done that just visual representation.

Research from Gorilla, Gorilla! points towards humour as an impactful angle in video comms for inclusion and diversity. This example from the New Zealand human rights commission challenges preconceptions and makes an impact on the viewer. “Sometimes with inclusion and diversity you need to break the ice and disarm your audience around the subject matter,” says Beswick.

The webinar then focused on actionable tips for businesses to create an impactful communications campaign around inclusion and diversity. Beswick urges organisations to try and break away from the clichés and find the best ways to use real people and real voices.

“A lot of people try and say everything and they end up staying nothing,” says Beswick.

The first tip from Gorilla, Gorilla! was the use of lived experience. For inclusion and diversity, this is often done through interviews, but the important thing is to keep this content focused.

YouTube found the top two reasons people watch video, is that it teaches you something knew and allows you to dig deeper into an existing interest. Audiences are more likely to connect and empathise with one individual given more of a voice, rather than multiple short clips in a montage.

Beswick also says brands need to think about stories outside its immediate business space. For example a successful campaign by Google, told the story of the founders of Pride in South Africa.

Campaigns also need to back up their statements of inclusion and diversity, with conversations and authentic contributions. Beswick highlights that conversation is a great, useful and creative device to tackle diversity in a practical way.

Animation can help brands to bring inclusion and diversity to live in a unique way. “It can help you to desensitise some tricky subjects without trivialising it,” says Beswick. Animation can be used to tell stories, using audio interviews or by contextualising the content.

Drama is also worth bearing in mind and is something less often used to tell stories of diversity and inclusion. “You need to root this in a really genuine set of experiences to land that emotional impact. The story has got to ring true.”

“The main point when using film and animation in this space, is to try and stay focused -  whichever technique you go with or whatever part of the journey you’ re on. The most successful work that we see focuses on one area and has a clear tangible thread, rather than trying to cover everything,” says Beswick.