Perhaps it’s the way that Sweetshop director, Nicolas Jack Davies, deftly creates intrigue in this ad? Perhaps it’s how he has controlled the spot’s emotional volume? There are very many ads supporting the LGTBQ+ community in the world right now. This Starbucks spot really stands out. Stands out sufficiently to have won Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award for 2020.
Of course, the ad is built on a striking – and very poignant – idea by Iris, the life-changing moment when a transgender person uses their new name for the first time. That idea grew from the real life experiences of people who find Starbucks stores to be a safe space, where their new name is accepted and they are recognised as who they really are.
The spot, #whatsyourname, made its debut on Channel 4 at 9.10pm on Sunday February 2 during the first ad break in SAS: Who Dares Wins. The TVC will be supported by digital OOH, social and in-store with Moving Portraits celebrating real life stories of how people chose their new names.
This is the fourth year of Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award and this year’s theme challenges the lack of representation and stereotyping of the LGBT+ community in advertising. It came from a study1 which revealed only 0.3% of TV adverts feature a transgender person, despite the community making up at least an estimated 1% of the population2.
Read more about the wider campaign and its transgender stories here.
The award was judged by leading figures from both the advertising industry and LGBT+ community including The IPA, Marketing Society, Stonewall, the LGBT+ Awards and actress Annie Wallace, the first transgender person to portray a reoccurring character in a British soap opera.
As part of its winning entry, Starbucks is also raising a minimum of £100k for the UK charity, Mermaids, which supports gender-diverse children, young people and their families. The organisation has had a 600+% increase in demand for its helpline services in the past five years. The funding, gathered by selling a limited-edition Mermaid Cookie at Starbucks, will help grow the Mermaids helpline service, so that the charity can employ an additional helpline operator and extend its webchat service, which provides vital support to young trans people.
Amy Bryson, managing partner, Iris, commented, “We believe brands should be brave, progressive and challenge the status quo, which is why we’re so passionate about this campaign and the impact it’s going to have. It was critical for us to tell ‘James’s story’ in an authentic way, so we spent time with people from the trans community who have experienced ‘dead-naming’ to make sure our work truly reflects their experiences. We hope the campaign will raise awareness about the importance of identity and acceptance in a time when hate crimes are on the rise.”
Matt Salmon, interim director of sales at Channel 4, stated, “We created the Channel 4 Diversity in Advertising Award to create positive change around representation of diverse groups in advertising, and the annual £1 million airtime prize has so far delivered three fantastic campaigns that broke new ground. This ground-breaking advert from Starbucks is an incredibly worthy recipient of the award and we hope this campaign encourages other brands to improve LGBT+ representation in their advertising.”
Alex Rayner, general manager, retail UK, added, “We are proud to have been recognised by the Channel 4 Diversity in Advertising award and we were moved to discover that individuals find our stores a safe space to try out their new names when transitioning. Since our beginnings, creating a warm and welcoming Third Place, where members of the community can gather, has been central to our mission. Writing a customer’s name on a cup and calling it out is symbol of this warm welcome.”
Channel 4 Diversity in Advertising Award gives £1 million worth of commercial airtime on Channel 4 to the winner and to the runner-up campaigns, commercial airtime worth £250,000. The next iteration of the award will be open to entries in June and the criteria for entries will be announced before then.
Executive Creative Director: Grant Hunter
Associate Creative Director: Eli Vasiliou
Film Creatives: Eli Vasiliou (ACD Copy) & Richard Peretti (Senior Creative Art)
Other Creatives: Giulia Frassine, Anny Heyden & Matt Gray
Account team: Amy Bryson (Managing Partner), Elisha Pearce (Business Director) & Stephen Bennett (Account Director)
TV producer: Emily Hendrey
Agency Producer: Richard Blaxill
Planning: Raj Thambirajah (Planning Director) & Florence Evans (Senior Planner)
Art production: Lu Howlett, Jody Brown & Paris Bennett
Editorial: Vino Vethavanam
POPS: Peter Maynard, Olivier Darriet-Fisher, Oliver Rushton & Syd Harvey
Design: Katrina Loosemore, Roger Norris, James Butt, Mollie Wade, Jess Leonard, Josh West & Nicole Vanner
Motion: Mike Tsang & Rebecca Ransom
Retouching: Kevin Relf & Cat Wood
Social: Beth Carroll, Tom Langan & Chaz Callingham-Woods
Production & Delivery: Jennifer Clark, Adam Brocklebank & Guy Cain
Artwork: Billy Thomas, Kyle Nagle, Tom Park, Murat Ince & Rebecca Koss
Business Affairs: Katie Singer
PR: Rachel Geraghty
Production Company: Sweetshop
Director: Nicolas Jack Davies
DOP: Ula Pontikos
Executive Producers: Justin Edmund-White & Morgan Whitlock
Producer: Hannah Cooper
Art Director: Scarlett Clifford
Post Production & Grade: Time Based Arts
Sound & Audio: Factory
Casting: Anna Stark
Music: Zebedee Budworth
- Channel 4’s sales house, 4Sales, commissioned the world’s biggest study in to diversity representation in TV ads, analysing 1,000 television adverts over a two-month period, to discover how minority groups are actually being portrayed. The research discovered that LGBT+ people hardly appear in adverts and can be stereotyped or portrayed negatively.
- According to Stonewall: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/truth-about-trans#trans-people-britain