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The 2020 Olympics: Inclusivity on a Global Stage

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Since the primary Olympic Games have been held in 1896, solely three have been cancelled. On every of those events, the disruption was because of a conflict.

It comes as no shock, then, that the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games brought about fairly a stir, particularly amongst manufacturers, a lot of whom spent the earlier two years planning Olympic adverts, endorsements, and campaigns that have been now on maintain.

While exasperated by the delay, it might be unattainable for manufacturers to surrender on the Games solely. Watched by tens of hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe, the Olympics are some of the anticipated occasions of the last decade. They are a reaffirmation of our shared humanity—one of many few occasions (aside from a world pandemic) that brings individuals collectively in shared expertise, and a excellent place for manufacturers to showcase their solidarity.

After greater than a yr of uncertainty and unrest, the Games have advanced from a stage of energy and revenue to a platform on which to have a good time variations and promote inclusivity. As such, they’re a excellent place for manufacturers to attach, authentically, with a captive world viewers.

Putting People First

Having persevered by way of months of isolation and lockdown, shoppers, just like the Olympics, have modified. They at the moment are targeted much less on consumption and extra on high quality of life and compassion, and like to buy with manufacturers that share their values.

The shift in shopper sentiment—and the advanced imaginative and prescient of the video games—is a chance for manufacturers to shift their mindset. With the assist of mission-driven Olympic onlookers, entrepreneurs have the ability to make a distinction by addressing systemic points like sexism, racism, and ableism of their advertising and marketing.

Take it from Caroline Casey, a incapacity activist and founding father of The Valuable 500, who shares, “Aside from the fact that [the Olympics] is an incredible moment for athletes, all athletes—Paralympic athletes or Olympic athletes—it’s a great moment for us to challenge the perceptions of inclusivity.”

With the Olympics in full swing, we reached out to our group to get their opinions on what manufacturers are difficult the perceptions of inclusivity and bringing illustration to the forefront of their advertising and marketing in an genuine means.

You don’t essentially want a world occasion to be inclusive in your advertising and marketing—although that’s a nice house to take a stand on necessary points—to be mission-driven and these manufacturers are among the greatest on the market at exhibiting the way it’s performed.

Brands which can be Doing Inclusivity Right


Benefit Cosmetics

While there’s nonetheless a methods to go along with fully deconstructing the present requirements of magnificence, Benefit Cosmetics, a vintage-inspired American makeup brand, took a main step in the fitting course by that includes Kate Grant—a mannequin with Down Syndrome—in a main marketing campaign.

In 2019 Kate grew to become the face of Benefit’s Roller Liner, and the world’s first mannequin with Down Syndrome. The message of inclusivity, communicated by way of Benefit’s function of Kate, was a potent reminder that magnificence campaigns can have a optimistic energy, inspiring shoppers to advocate for celebrating one’s self.

Inclusivity in Benefit Campaign

Kate Grant, the primary mannequin with Down Syndrome, was featured in a Benefit Cosmetics marketing campaign. Source: People.

Kurt Geiger’s Contemporary Community

According to Forbes, round 15-20% of the UK’s inhabitants, which equates to 14 million individuals, has a seen or non-visible incapacity. However, disabled individuals make up solely 0.01% of these featured in style and sweetness promoting.

Inspired to vary this statistic, footwear retailer Kurt Geiger launched a new advertising and marketing marketing campaign—People Empowered—which creates a platform for people who’ve beforehand been underrepresented to share their tales, educating shoppers about a big selection of disabilities by way of their email advertising and marketing.

Kurt Geiger Ad Campaign

Kurt Geiger’s “People Empowered” marketing campaign goals to carry underrepresented communities to the mainstream. Source:


Wildbird, an online baby apparel retailer, is dedicated to producing top quality merchandise that improve the connection between mum or dad and baby. But they didn’t cease at creating some lovely and practical slings, they created a group as effectively.

The Wildbird Instagram group is vibrant and unapologetic, showcasing moms in all levels of motherhood. It’s a place for moms to ask questions, get inspiration, and really feel included. Inspired partially by the variety of their group, the staff at Wildbird began to include inclusivity into their merchandise and campaigns, providing inclusive babywearing choices and displaying plus-size and disabled mother and father of their advertising and marketing supplies.

Inclusive motherhood campaign.

Not all mother and father are the identical and Wildbird aimed to focus on and have a good time these variations. Source:


Six years ago, American Eagle’s loungewear and lingerie line, Aerie launches its first #AerieActual marketing campaign. The marketing campaign, which used fashions of all backgrounds, physique varieties, and bodily talents (i.e. fashions with insulin pumps, and so on.), was a daring dedication to cease modifying footage of its fashions. The mission of #AerieREAL is to advertise physique positivity and variety, and push different retailers to do the identical.

Spearheading (and sticking to) their mission assertion, Aerie has constantly confirmed their dedication to inclusivity and illustration exterior of written statements and social media.

This yr, they’re additionally showcasing 5 Special Olympic athletes of their advertising and marketing supplies.

#AerieReal Campaign

Aerie’s #AerieREAL marketing campaign options Special Olympic athletes. Source: Aerie.


It’s disappointing (and uncomfortable) when underwear doesn’t match. With interval underwear like Thinx, a product designed to replace menstrual items, poor match could be a full catastrophe.
In 2018, Thinx launched its first line of “extended sizing” for all sizes and styles of shoppers. But whereas well-intentioned, their launch was not well-researched. The match of their new, prolonged product was all incorrect.

Close with their buyer group, Thinx responded shortly and turned to their curvy fashions and shoppers for recommendation. Now, they provide sizes XS by way of 4X throughout all of their types and have fashions of various shapes, sizes, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and ages of their advertising and marketing to showcase their dedication to efficient and inclusive underwear.

Thinx Inclusivity Campaign

As a response to non-inclusive sizing, Thinx added their “extended sizing” line with insights from their plus-size fashions and prospects. Source: Fast Company.

The Move to Mission-Driven

The Olympics welcome a numerous mixture of athletes, together with refugees, ladies, individuals of various faiths, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations and talents. Being a a part of these Games—as a model or spectator—entails greater than rooting to your nation and celebrating winners. It’s about solidarity. It’s a reminder of the variations that unite us.

Brands too typically focus on one or two parts of their viewers, neglecting those that are much less represented and lacking the chance to make a distinction with their advertising and marketing. The 2020 Olympics shed an necessary gentle on the significance of empathy and inclusivity in advertising and marketing campaigns. To create a customized, holistic buyer expertise, manufacturers ought to attempt to verify all audiences are represented in advertising and marketing messages.

To study extra about viewers segmentation and delivering the fitting message to all of your prospects, request an Iterable demo.

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