Avivo's new awareness campaign via WA agency Marketforce calls out offensive use of the 'R word'

R Word - Website 1.jpgThe word 'Retard' appears on Twitter every five seconds. That's 12 times a minute, 744 times an hour and a staggering 125,000 times a week. Yet the word is offensive, not just to people with intellectual and physical disability, but to their friends, families and carers.

To raise awareness and educate people about the impact of the word, WA agency Marketforce, on behalf of its client Avivo, a leading not-for-profit community organisation, has created a social media campaign that directly targets those using it online.

R word - Tweet shot (1).jpgThe campaign centres around a Twitter bot which detects any English language use of the word 'Retard' or 'Retarded'.  The bot then automatically replies with a special message - a video from someone affected by the R word, talking directly to the person who just used it.  

The messages are from the campaign ambassadors - 12 people from the age of six up to 80 who represent people with lived experience of disability, including family members, carers and those who work in the sector.

R Word - Website 2.jpgRecipients of the video messages are directed to the campaign website - www.therword.com.au - where they can learn more about what the word means to others and get to know the person behind their video message. They're also encouraged to show their support for the cause and share the campaign's awareness video.
In addition to programming the bot to recognise specific words from English language accounts, Marketforce's digital team had to create an algorithm within the bot to contend withMinisterforDisabilityServices Launch.jpg Twitter's daily tweet limits, ensuring that it complied with the platform's user requirements.

After a successful three week trial, the campaign was officially launched last week by Western Australia's Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson (pictured left). The campaign has also garnered local and national media attention, and has captured visitors to the site from over 30 countries.

Avivo CEO Rosie Lawn, said Marketforce really understood the organisation's motivations and drivers behind the campaign.

Says Lawn: "The campaign is not about promoting Avivo, it's about influencing community awareness and respect. The campaign supports people who have direct experience of the impact of the R word to say how they feel."

Marketforce chairman and acting CEO Jim Gall said the team at Marketforce admire and respect the work that Avivo does in the community. 

Says Gall: "As a result, we really wanted to contribute to the work they do. By highlighting the negative impacts around the R word, we're hopeful we can help people reconsider the language they use, and move one step closer to a more considerate and inclusive society."

The campaign continues to target users in real time.

Pat Lennox - Executive Creative Director
Ben Green - Creative Director
Joe Hawkins - Creative Group Head & Copywriter
Neil Martin - Art Director
Chris Andrawes - Digital Lead Creative
Ben Derham - Technical Lead
David Thomas - Front End Developer

Claire Baronas - Agency Producer
Lenny Rudeberg - Agency Editor & Camera Operator
Brad Habib (Soundbyte) - Sound Engineer

Nicole Cikarela - General Manager of Client Solutions
Jo Gibb - Senior Client Director
Ruby Broun - Senior Client Manager

Client - Avivo
CEO - Rosie Lawn


Good stuff said:

Nice work guys. An excellent idea, but I feel like your case study undersells it a bit. Would be a shame for something this cool to miss out at shows because of that. Not that metal means everything, but you know. Well done regardless.

Joe Hawkins said:

@ Good Stuff. Cheers for the compliments. Yes, this video simply explains the idea; it's not an award entry submission. Those ones look a tad different :)

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