Inspired Us: A (more) diverse and (less) materialistic Christmas

Inspired Us: Christmas diversity

Creativebrief, share their sources of inspiration this month.

Each month we team up with our contributors to find gems of inspiration - because, in order to inspire others, we need to be inspired. 

From black Santa Claus and materialism during the festive season to the power of mass-communication on social media, here are the five things which gripped the marketing intelligence provider.

A Home Run for Healthcare 

Inspiration by David Sanger, PR Manager

For a seven-year-old, Hailey Dawson has a lot of Major League Baseball games under her belt, with all 30 ballparks in her sights. Born with Poland syndrome, Hailey is missing three fingers on her right hand. Most insurance companies won’t cover prosthetics for children, so Hailey’s mum approached nearby University of Nevada, Las Vegas who designed and 3D-printed a bionic arm for Hailey, giving her the digits and grip she needs to hold a ball. Taking less than a day to make, UNLV covered the costs and even made the design public and patent-free.

The work by UNLV sets a new benchmark in both its generosity and a cheaper, faster way to manufacture prosthetics. What’s more, social media has shown its kinder side with MLB teams like the Detroit Tigers, Mets and Washington Nationals inviting Hailey to their stadiums, and challenging their contemporaries to do the same.

All the Fun of the Dare

Inspiration by Ben Somerset-How, Client Director

It’s hard not to take inspiration from two friends who rowed 3000 miles on the back of a dare. With the help of a few pints, James Whittle and Tom Caulfield took on their Atlantic adventure with little to no rowing experience.

When I heard The Tempest Two speak last month, it was their distaste for the word ‘can’t’ that inspired me the most. They have eliminated it from their vocabulary and in doing so opened up a vast array of possibilities. That thing which got them into the boat and through every one of those 3000 miles has since helped them through a gruelling trek across Patagonia and to climb Mount Blanc.

These are not lads who have dreamed of summits and feats of human endurance since their childhood. Instead, they set their minds on an adventure and achieved it not dwelling on whether it was likely or not.

It made me think how if we all had this level of positivity what we could achieve. And how fun it would be.

The Power of a Whisper

Inspiration by Jess Feltham, Marketing Director

Two things have happened in the past month that have shown me how much the world has changed in the past five years. 1) #MeToo 2) the scare at Oxford circus on Friday 24th November. The way that both of these things have gripped the nation, globally, in the case of #MeToo has been a testament to the way that technology and particularly social media has completely changed the way that people consume news and spread information. It's a far cry from a telegraph, letter or even newspaper in days gone by.

In an age of instant gratification, where a social post can be created and posted in less than 30 seconds, these moments in time have reminded me that every piece of communication we put out there needs to have real value to the audience. That we need to resist the temptation of telling someone we think they want to know just because it has become so easy to do so. They have inspired me to become less hasty and that bit more considered in everything that I do, because the power of a tweet is much greater than we could ever have anticipated.

Choose Love

Inspiration by Izzy Ashton, Writer and Researcher

Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Unnecessary materialism is one of the unattractive by-products of the festive season. But this year, I’ve been inspired by how charity Help Refugees, working alongside the creative collective Glimpse, opened a pop-up concept store on Black Friday.

Part concept store, part exhibition space, part charity shop, Choose Love sells products for refugees, encouraging shoppers to spend their money on the people who really need it. The items include emergency blankets, school bags and children’s shoes, ranging from £4.99 to £499, the cost of buying the entire store. When a product is bought from Choose Love, that same product is distributed by Help Refugees to those in need across Europe and the Middle East.

At the heart of the store are the products along with descriptions of who might need them, and why. Shoppers can learn about the items through an understanding of the refugee’s journey. In a season where our bank accounts are drained for family, friends and Secret Santa, Choose Love encourages you to “Shop your heart out, leave with nothing and feel the love.”

A (So) White Christmas

Inspiration by Kara Melchers, Managing Editor

When an artist has released a song called Don’t Touch My Hair, you’d think it would be crazy to airbrush out the braids that so proudly represent her art and heritage. Yet this happened to Solange Knowles when she appeared on the cover of Evening Standard magazine.

It makes you wonder how such a seemingly obvious cultural mistake could have made it to print. And we’re led to question whose eyes the images passed beneath before they were signed off?

The internet has been around for 25 years, and, in that time, we’ve been taking and uploading pictures of, predominantly white, families. This systemic racism is made clear when you do pretty much any image search. Initiatives such as #SOWHITEPROJECT are helping to normalise diverse imagery through real life photography. Co-Founder of the Project Nadya Powell said, 'the questions we got along the way were hysterical:

"How can you have a black Santa?” Well he’s mythical.' 

Nadya works alongside Selma Nicholls, CEO of Looks Like Me, a talent agency that raises the profile of underrepresented groups in advertising. Together, they are redefining our concept of beauty.

Email the Content Team to feature in our 'Inspired Us' series. This piece was submitted by the Creativebrief team, follow them @creativebrief