Shift 20 - P&G's inclusive approach to advertising

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 20 October 2023
Anna Lam.

Ten of Australia’s most well known brands are coming together in support of disability representation with the ‘Unignorable Adbreak’, swapping out key scenes in their advertising to include a person with disability.

The ‘Unignorable Adbreak’ is a campaign by the Shift 20 Initiative, led by the Dylan Alcott Foundation and focused on increasing disability representation, inclusion and accessibility in Australian advertising and media. 

During the month of October, AdNews is speaking to marketing leaders at some of the companies taking part in the initiative, finding out why they wanted to get involved, the response to the ads, what the industry needs to do better and more.

Anna Lam - Executive General Manager of Oral-Care at Procter & Gamble (Oral-B and Pantene)

What made you want to get involved with the Shift 20 Initiative?

Here at P&G, we are committed to creating a more inclusive world for everyone – both inside and outside the walls of our company – to ensure our business, and our brands, are representative of the rich diversity of the consumers we serve.  

The Oral-B and Pantene team were so inspired when we first heard about the Shift 20 Initiative, we believe our brands have a responsibility to share true representation in our advertising, We are excited to be a part of making a lasting change for people with disabilities. 

Were you already working with talent with a disability (either in front of or behind the camera) or was this a first for your brand?

We always aim to ensure we take an inclusive approach to our advertising, the Shift 20 Initiative challenged our thinking on what it means to drive inclusivity in our advertising. As one of the world’s biggest advertisers, we recognise our responsibility to drive meaningful, long-lasting change. The experience of working with our talent was incredible, we could see the impact that this type of change was having on them personally. It really was a joy to work alongside some amazing people including our newly signed Oral-B brand ambassador Tiffany Thomas Kane. 

 How did you decide which of your TVCs to change?

For our brands Oral-B and Pantene, we used the copies that we were currently airing so we could join the movement with the Shift 20 Initiative and the other participating brands. 

Have you received any feedback from the public in response to the ads?

The response from the public has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s humbling to see how our consumers are also inspired by the campaign with brands like Oral-B and Pantene starting to make a change that impacts the lives of people with disabilities now and for years to come. 

What do you hope other CMOs and marketing/advertising leaders take away from this initiative?

Oral-B and Pantene are examples of how brands can partner and join the Shift 20 Initiative. When something is unknown, it can be daunting. I would encourage other brands to lean in, learn, and take the first step towards greater representation of people with disabilities by joining the Shift 20 Initiative. 

What do you think the advertising and marketing industries need to do moving forward to ensure that people with a disability are better represented?

It’s imperative that we reflect the rich diversity of the consumers we serve on screen. For P&G Australia and New Zealand, the Shift 20 Initiative, with our brands Oral-B and Pantene, is just the beginning. As advertisers, it is our responsibility to ensure an inclusive approach is taken to all aspects of our work, and representation on and off the screen is just one part of this. We look forward to continuing our journey towards creating a more inclusive world for all.

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