NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Code and Theory, a digital-first creative agency within Stagwell, announced today the formation of the industry’s first holistic Inclusive Design and Marketing Strategy (ID&M) discipline. In a crowded agency landscape where brands must choose either campaign-focused DEI or social impact marketing agencies, Code and Theory’s ID&M applies inclusivity to a digital-first strategy and uses intersectionality to unlock transformational value for brands. Code and Theory’s ID&M discipline is the first of its kind from Stagwell.
Kirstyn Nimmo, an award-winning social impact strategist behind the White House-recognized #IAmAMan campaign for criminal punishment reform, the Nestlé Purina partnership that opened NYC’s first pet-friendly domestic violence shelters, and launched the Anthem Award Winning Yahoo Allyship Pledge to provide education about the Black experience in America and more, will serve as Group Director.
Nimmo’s 14 years of social impact expertise will be applied to existing Code and Theory work streams across the agency, enhancing an already strong set of digital-first deliverables. She is tasked with building a diverse team of creatives, strategists and technologists to ensure every agency output is inclusive at its core; helping brands resonate with today’s diverse consumers, and increase retention among employees. To date, the agency has delivered breakthrough results while amassing an impressive body of inclusive work with The Washington Commanders, Con Edison, Adidas, National Council on Aging, and Johnson & Johnson, to name a few.
Diverse consumers are transforming the U.S. mainstream; representing the most dynamic and fastest-growing segment of the U.S. consumer economy and a multi-trillion dollar opportunity for brands. For Code and Theory, the demand has never been greater as clients are actively seeking insight and expertise in this space.
“Over a decade ago, it was exciting to witness the industry recognizing the importance of diversity and multicultural marketing, but modern consumers are demanding more than that,” explains Nimmo. “The pandemic and recent racial justice movements led to collective and individual changes in identity, agency, and accountability. Those events paved the way for an expanded focus on inclusion, where brands can honor consumers’ intersectional identities. Brands have the chance to evolve and accurately reflect our culture’s complexities and we’re proud to answer that call.”
“ID&M’s purpose is to approach Inclusivity the same way we have approached Digital Transformation for decades, which is to connect the dots for consumers and brands at every touchpoint,” says Dan Gardner, Founder and Executive Chairman, Code and Theory, “I am beyond thrilled to have Kirstyn join Code and Theory. Brands that want to tap into this massive market opportunity and realize a strong ROI – a return-on-inclusion – will benefit from her expertise on how to authentically embrace inclusion as a strategy and not a tactic across all areas of their business, including marketing and communications.”
The establishment of the discpline aligns with the agency’s commitment to being an anti-racist company. In 2021, Code and Theory hired its first Chief Diversity Officer, Renée Miller, and has since developed its 5% Shifts framework, which compels the agency to continuously revisit progress against all of their DEI commitments, and helps clients make real shifts which result in measurable change.
“At Code and Theory we knew that an ongoing commitment to growing a racially and ethnically diverse staff, wide-ranging in age and identities, would continuously expand our ability to bring our clients cutting edge, intersectional thinking that transforms business and impacts across our clients services, platforms and campaign ecosystems. By putting inclusion at the core of our agency, it’s become a clear focus in our work, birthing this new ID&M discipline.” added Renée Miller, Chief Diversity Officer, Code and Theory.
As part of the effort to drive brand evolution, the ID&M discipline created Words Up, an industry writing guide intended to bring inclusive discourse and collaboration surrounding language. Nimmo adds, “As marketers and builders grounded in digital spaces, we help clients reach people all over the world, and it’s critical that language resonates in the right ways, in the right places. When brands use inclusive language, they invite communities in, grow their audiences and create brand love with consumers they may have failed to recognize in the past.” Additionally, Nimmo and the ID&M team created a Linkedin Group and Discord channel for creative and brand professionals to further collaborate, share resources and knowledge in real time.
To learn more about Code and Theory’s Inclusive Marketing and Design discipline, please visit here.
To learn more about Code and Theory’s DEI framework visit here.
To access the first edition of Words Up, please visit here.
About Code and Theory
Born in 2001, Code and Theory is a digital-first creative agency that sits at the center of creativity and technology. With a global client roster of Fortune 100s and start-ups alike, we crave the hardest problems to solve and create end-to-end solutions that flex to meet the needs of today’s ever-changing digital landscape.
Stagwell is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com
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We’re proud to share several ways agencies across Stagwell have celebrated and used Black History Month this year as a platform to impact communities locally, nationally, and across the digital ecosystem.
Instrument – BankBlackUSA – Closing the Racial Wealth Gap
Instrument has invested $3 million in their Build|Grow|Serve program, created to support and empower Black and systemically excluded communities. As part of their 2021 Pro-Bono program, they partnered with BankBlackUSA – an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting financial advocacy in Black communities and closing the racial wealth gap – to redesign their website, elevate their brand, and create an extensible platform that supports the brand’s movement through impactful storytelling.
In emphasizing the need for banking Black, they felt it important to support Black designers and makers in the process. In doing so, they created infographics inspired by the work of W.E.B. DuBois—a famed sociologist who created groundbreaking data visualizations on institutionalized racism—purchased a typeface from designer Tré Seals, and supported Black-owned photography sites to bring the brand to life.
Allison+Partners – NYC Black History 50 Run – Illuminating Hidden Histories
Allison+Partners’ ultra-runner Todd Aydelotte collaborated with several community partners across New York to organize the NYC Black History 50 run, an interactive running experience across key moments and sights integral to understanding black history across New York City. The run bridged an exciting interactive experience and local history, linking the boroughs together, beginning in South Staten Island and ending at the Ralph Ellison Memorial in Harlem. All participants donated to a Go Fund Me to preserve the history of Sandy Ground, America’s oldest continuously inhabited free Black community.
In a blog, Aydelotte discusses what inspired this run: (The Stream)
72andSunny and Colle McVoy – Spotlighting Black Hair and Culture
In two separate activations, 72andSunny and Colle McVoy prepared creative content to celebrate Black hair and educate people on the rich styles, traditions, and historical significance of hairstyles in the Black community.
In an owned social series, Colle McVoy explored the history, significance, misconceptions, and beauty of hairstyles in the Black Community, covering cornrows, headwraps, and the afro. Colle McVoy’s Inclusion Council’s Black History Month planning team researched and developed the effort and shared it on social and with internal talent.
72andSunny launched “Rooted: A Journey of Roots and Resistance,” which packaged an expansive palette of digital assets, including a curated playlist, alphabet lookbook spotlighting hairstyles that have defined Black culture through history, a film showcasing stories of 72andSunny team members on hair journeys of self-discovery and acceptance, and a panel featuring some of the Black hair industry’s most exemplary people. Sequaña Williams-Hechavarria, equity, diversity, and inclusion program manager at the agency, spoke with The Drum about the work.
Code and Theory – Snapchat Creative Council “Hey, You Good?” – Driving Awareness on Black Mental Health
My-Linh Tran, Senior Inclusive Marketing Strategist at Code and Theory, was part of the team of creatives who developed the Snapchat Creative Council’s Black History Month campaign devised to educate Snapchatters through real conversations about the mental health issues impacting Black communities. The campaign features AR filters and lenses that users can leverage, a Discover Channel mini-series that encourages young people to check in on mental health, and an educative microsite. Snapchat’s Creative Council is a partnership with ADCOLOR which brings together leading creatives to build campaigns that tackle issues that disproportionately impact Black communities.
Learn more about the effort in Adweek.
Doner/ Doner Partners Network – Kaleidoscope – Vendor Diversity Fair
Doner hosted its inaugural virtual supplier/vendor diversity fair, Kaleidoscope, which convened over 150+ diverse suppliers and vendors to showcase offerings and share best practices around equitable sourcing. Agencies across the Stagwell network attended and contributed to the programming.
OTHER NOTABLE ACTIVATIONS
- Anomaly Toronto – Equal Advantage – Anomaly recently opened applications for the second year of Equal Advantage, an agency-wide initiative to support small businesses in BIPOC communities with great advertising. A pro-bono effort, Equal Advantage offers Anomaly’s world-class creativity, strategy, and marketing experts to small businesses free of charge. In the program’s first year, Anomaly partnered with ISARELLA KOBLA, a luxury made-to-order clothing and accessories brand, as its first client.
- KWT Global – Do the Work Microsite – KWT continued to add to its expansive microsite launched in 2020, which features original and curated content that elevates BIPOC Creators, stories, and experiences. This month, KWT curated three pieces of content: The Story of Black History Month; 21 Books by Black Authors You Should Read in Your Lifetime; and Black History Month Films to Watch.
- The Harris Poll partnered with Teva Pharmaceuticals and the Morehouse School of Medicine on a report on the State of Access to Healthcare in America. Among the insights, the team identified barriers top barriers to health access exacerbated by the pandemic and offered strategies for a #PathToEquity
- YML BLK – YML’s black employee resource group curated stories of black perseverance, black history, black futures, and black joy in a social series through the month. Additionally, the agency spotlighted individual members of the ERG.
- Multiview – Helping Associations that Serve BIPOC Professionals – Stagwell’s B2B digital media and marketing firm has several partnerships with associations that represent minority professionals in different industries. The firm’s sales services help those organizations fund some of their member programs. Additionally, Multiview publishes their newsletters and helps them monetize various media properties by connecting their industry sponsors and their members through advertising.
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