One of the most important ingredients for creativity is diversity, and different ways of thinking, says grassroots collective Only One In The Room.
“But advertising, an industry that thrives and competes on creativity, still mostly hires the same kinds of people,” its website reads. “What’s up with that?”
The group of advertising professionals formed in June 2021 to address this lingering question. Co-founders Pia Chaudhuri of BMF, Cocogun’s Ant Melder, and Dentsu Creative’s Avish Gordhan put their minds together to try and “change the complexion” of their industry to better reflect Australia at large.
This week, Only One In The Room launched its latest move towards achieving this goal called Destroy this Brief.
The Destroy this Brief initiative
Described as a “clarion call”, the initiative invites those inside, or interested in, the industry to think of ideas that will lead to a more diverse advertising community.
Two briefs will be released every year, with each relating to a specific area of diversity. The first brief, now live, asks participants to find ways to open the industry up to, and attract, diverse talent.
Entrants are encouraged to think beyond traditional advertising and into all kinds of media, be it digital platforms, regulation changes, new products, apps and more. “Whatever it takes to instigate real change,” says the collective.
Rather than simply awarding a trophy, Only One In The Room and its partners will then bring the winning submissions to life.
Judges and industry endorsements
Judging the work will be industry heavyweights. Mischief USA CCO and Co-Founder Greg Hahn is on the jury, alongside Gloster Advisory Non-Executive Director and Advisor Sunita Gloster and Head of Group Brand at NAB Faycal Benabdellaziz.
Other changemakers in advertising have announced their support for the initiative.
MakeLoveNotPorn CEO and diversity advocate Cindy Gallop said: “I love the fact that Only One In The Room’s brief is NOT calling for advertising ideas, but for creative ways to dramatically transform industry conditions and mindsets.
“It’s about time that an industry that claims to want equality, diversity and inclusion, but is spectacularly failing to deliver on those claims, brings the full force of its creativity to bear on how to make change happen a damn sight faster.
“At its very best, what we do is transformative. I can’t wait to see our industry use all of the extraordinary creative brilliance our top talent possesses, to transform ourselves.”
“Diversity and creativity go hand in hand,” said TwentyFirstCenturyBrand Co-founder and former CMO of Airbnb and Coke Jonathan Mildenhall.
“When people feel like they belong, they bring their unique perspective, talent and A game.”
The collective has said future briefs will include topics like preventing diverse talent from leaving the industry, and inclusivity and authenticity in advertisers’ work.
The deadline for inaugural submissions is 31 October 2022. Judging will take place in early 2023, with the winning ideas announced February 2023.