Three years ago, eSSENTIAL Accessibility worked with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to inaugurate the People with Disabilities category for the Multicultural Excellence Awards. The awards celebrates the best multicultural advertising campaigns in 12 different categories.
Since it’s inception, there have been a number of excellent ads submitted to the People with Disabilities category. In 2014 Duracell’s “Trust Your Power,” which featured Derrick Coleman an NFL fullback, won the People with Disabilities category and the Best in Show. In 2015, Kimberly Clark’s “Unlikely Best Friends” won the category, but also took home the honours of Best in Show.
This year, Duracell had to contend with Walt Disney World and Autism Speaks for the top spot in the People with Disabilities category. Not only did Duracell win the category, it also beat out L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Honda Civic to win the Best in Show award.
Building a Disability-Friendly Brand
People with disabilities make up the largest minority in the world. That being said, brands would benefit from building a disability-friendly and inclusive presence. Here are some ways to do so:
- Running an ad campaign
If your brand is already running a number of initiatives for people with disabilities, like Duracell did for people with hearing disabilities, creating an ad and running a campaign around that ad would be the best way to showcase your brand’s commitment to people with disabilities, and boost affinity with this market.
- Including people with disabilities in your advertising
It’s one thing to showcase your commitment to people with disabilities in your campaigns (and you should); it’s another thing entirely to include people with disabilities alongside everyone one else without making a big deal. It shows potential customers that you see people with disabilities as regular, ordinary folks. Trust us – it will be noticed.
- Starting an initiative for people with disabilities
More than 1 in 4 families have at least one member with a disability. They care deeply about diversity and disability issues, and make buying decisions accordingly. In fact, they are loyal to brands that actively seek to meet their needs. By starting an initiative tailored to meet the needs of your customers with disabilities, similar to what Disney did for the Mansfield family, your brand has the opportunity to delight and build brand loyalty.
- Supporting the community
When you choose which social and community initiatives to bolster with charitable dollars, be sure to think of groups that are making positive changes for people with disabilities.
- Seamless Digital Experiences
Given the increasingly digital nature of our world, and the fact that the web has become the first touchpoint a customer has with a brand, a disability-friendly digital presence is a business imperative. In most cases, this is the ideal first step on the path to becoming disability-friendly.Brands need to ensure that their website is accessible by maintaining compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, and offering their customers with disabilities free assistive technology. Together, these components help provide a seamless digital experience for people with disabilities, so they can engage with your brand.
To learn more about eSSENTIAL Accessibility and how we can help put you on the path to building a disability-friendly brand presence, check out our solution and learn why you need web accessibility compliance and assistive technology.