Everyone is talking diversity these days but the term has become way too specific and business oriented.
Diversity doesn’t mean variety and freshness anymore, it’s become a category and a box that needs to be checked. Our industry needs a strong dose of DEI, but the acronym should stand for Different, Enterprising and Ingenious; these are the elements that actually create real diversity, in the larger sense of the word.
Our industry needs a strong dose of DEI, but the acronym should stand for Different, Enterprising and Ingenious.
Twenty-three years ago, when we launched Little Minx as a woman-owned and led production company, the phone wasn’t exactly ringing off the hook, so we had to decide, do we push the careers of established directors or do we do something new? We felt it was much better to discover someone new.
Above: The production process should always start with a spark of difference [photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash].
Personally, my taste is naturally diverse. My mother is originally from Tunisia in North Africa and, as a young girl, I was exposed to different cultures. I was obsessed with reading fables and stories from Africa, India, Egypt and other places. That was my way of escaping suburban life in France. I was always searching for magic.
[Production] should start with a spark, with directors and creatives doing something in a different way.
Production should be all about magic. It should start with a spark, with directors and creatives doing something in a different way. That’s what gets an audience’s attention and piques interest. Is this person saying something new, something different? Is this something I haven’t seen before? That’s where we should start, always.
Work with people who make you stop cold and say, "Wow!". These are the people who really inspire. They are new and original voices who don’t necessarily fit everyone’s taste.
Above: The advertising industry needs to nurture and sustain different, colourful voices [photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash].
Brands have been urging their marketing partners to find new ways to be more culturally relevant, to create ideas that are different and to support new perspectives. How do we do that? Not by checking boxes, but by nurturing and sustaining different voices and evolving that into a fundamental creative principle. By producing work that reflects the rich complexion of the world and engages audiences across a wide range of social and ethnic backgrounds, as well as different genders and sexual orientations.
As an industry, we must focus on what we are passionate about and be authentic in the stories we tell.
Always make decisions from the heart and the gut. Focus on passion and trust. Have each other’s backs as directors, as partners, and also make sure the team behind the director reflects the director’s voice.
As an industry, we must focus on what we are passionate about and be authentic in the stories we tell. Our work will grow, progress and become so much better by hiring talent that reflects the fabric of this beautiful, colourful world of ours.