How Virgin drove a 1,562% increase in positivity about dyslexia

With 97% of the population still viewing dyslexia as a medical disorder, Virgin Group teamed up with LinkedIn and to reframe the national conversation.

Virgin MW Awards
Source: Virgin

Virgin Group set out to change the conversation about dyslexia, reframing it as a positive genetic difference rather than a negative health issue, inspired by the experiences of founder Sir Richard Branson.

Previously, campaigns focused on encouraging the one in five people with dyslexia to change how they feel about themselves, rather than addressing the structural and cultural evolution needed to accept dyslexia as a skill.

On a mission to shift perceptions, Virgin partnered with agency FCB Inferno, Made by Dyslexia, LinkedIn and to shift the focus to the term ‘dyslexic thinking’ – highlighting the positive skills people with dyslexia possess.

LinkedIn updated its platform to feature dyslexic thinking as an official skill available to its 810 million global users, while added the term to its dictionary.

Branson called on others to add the term to their LinkedIn profiles, creating a groundswell of support. Hyper-targeted messaging was employed on LinkedIn to reach HR professionals, encouraging them to seek candidates with dyslexic thinking on their profiles. A film was also released showing how history has been shaped by those who were/are dyslexic.

More than 10,000 people added dyslexic thinking as a skill on LinkedIn and within 30 days 13,000 HR and recruitment leaders had viewed the film explaining how dyslexic thinkers could take their company up a gear.

Virgin Group, winner of the Marketing Week Award for Brand Purpose, helped drive a 1,562% increase in positive mentions about dyslexia, with negative mentions on social media down 4,450% from pre-campaign levels.