Volvo wins Channel 4’s £1m diversity competition

Volvo has triumphed in the first Diversity in Advertising Award, winning £1m in airtime for its pitch around non-visible disability.


Volvo has triumphed in Channel 4’s first Diversity in Advertising award, winning £1m in advertising airtime.

The car marque’s campaign was developed by creative agency Grey London, and will focus around this year’s theme of non-visible disability.

The brand was one of seven finalists, alongside BT, Ford, Marks & Spencer, Bose, Panasonic and Lloyds. The campaign was picked from more than 50 ideas featuring a range of non-visible disabilities such as depression, Alzheimer’s, autism and deafness.

As well as awarding the brand £1m of airtime, Channel 4 will also offer the other finalists match-funded commercial airtime if they produce the creative ideas which secured them a place in the final. This comes after most of the brands shortlisted for last year’s ‘Superhumans Wanted’ competition dropped their campaigns after the winner was announced.

“This is a really important award which I hope will lead to a genuine step change in the advertising industry and see it embrace diversity more widely. We set a really tough brief this year and judging from the range, creativity and sheer quality of the finalists’ ideas, there’s a wealth of opportunity for advertisers and their creative teams to explore in this area,” says Jonathan Allan, sales director at Channel 4.

“We hope that everyone will think a little harder about all aspects of diversity when creating their advertising as a result of this competition.”

READ MORE: 5 ways marketers can take action to improve diversity

Channel 4 first looked to encourage advertisers to be inclusive in their advertising last year with the launch of the ‘Superhumans Wanted’ competition. It was won by Maltesers, with its ‘Look on the light side of disability’ campaign going on to be its most successful for 10 years.

This year marks the first Diversity in Advertising Award. It is set to become an annual event and is part of the broadcaster’s long-term commitment to improve diversity in advertising every year until at least 2020. Each year the prize will focus on a different area of diversity to encourage the advertising industry to embrace inclusive campaigns.

This year’s winning campaign by Volvo UK will broadcast this autumn.