SS+K

Wells Fargo Commits to Working With People With Disabilities, Always.

When people hear or see that someone has a disability, there is a natural tendency to want to help that person and do things for them—usually without their direct involvement. Society has a habit of focusing on what people with disabilities can and can’t do—instead of what people with disabilities want to do.

We launched Wells Fargo’s “With, Always” campaign to show what’s possible when people are given the opportunity to realize their professional dreams and to establish Wells Fargo’s commitment to working with people with disabilities, always. Much of the effort came together with the direct collaboration and leadership of people who identify as disabled, including Jessica Oddi, the artist who created the heart of the marketing campaign’s portrait illustrations and Lawrence Carter-Long, who provided audio content. Activist Liz Jackson, creator of The Disabled List, also contributed to the effort. Kathy Martinez, SVP and head of Disability and Accessibility Strategy at Wells Fargo is the client lead; she was born blind.

The work, told through Jessica Oddi’s art, celebrates some of the significant contributions people with disabilities have made to society including Louis Braille, Stephen Farffler, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Farida Bedwei, Justin Dart and Vint Cerf.

The campaign launched in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month this past October, debuting at the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange on October 3rd, where Kathy Martinez and Wells Fargo CMO Jamie Moldafsky rang the bell. The work appeared as part of an activation experience at the No Barriers Summit in NYC on October 4th-6th, an interactive event focused on creating a world of greater possibilities. No Barriers is an organization Wells Fargo has supported since 2014. All of the “With, Always” efforts were accompanied by Braille, audio and ASL elements to ensure the campaign is as accessible as possible.

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Slow Down!! Text What’s Tough to Say With ‘To Be Honest’ Sticker Pack

We’ve been thinking a lot about the #MeToo movement and how to help young people navigate some of the tough conversations about sexual boundaries. Today we launched “To Be Honest”, an iOS + Android sticker pack aimed at helping users set expectations, explore sexual boundaries, and raise red flags when things go too far on a platform where these early intimate expectations are often set: text.

The stickers arm both parties with clear language to express and begin a dialogue around everything from “That was fun” and “Are you comfortable?” to “No nudes” and “Blocked and reported”. For Jenny Mauric and Christina Bull, the design challenge was moving beyond the text to bring real emotive meaning to these messages. The team paired phrases with relatable poses and expressions of classical sculptures – deities and powerful people from history that bring a humorous, yet serious element to every message. Rather than just the sender simply telling someone to back off, Poseidon is telling them to back off.

“Between #MeToo and the recent division swirling around the Kavanaugh hearings, consent and larger still, rape culture are areas we desperately need to be discussing more,” said Claudia Cukrov.

 

“Consent is an incredibly complex issue, and it can change in an instant. ‘To Be Honest’ isn’t designed to be a solution to these issues, but similar to reaction GIFs – provide a low-barrier tool to express boundaries we sometimes can’t find the words to say.”

Why a text sticker pack?

  • It doesn’t matter how experienced, confident, outspoken or prepared a person of any age may be, consent conversations are hard to have, especially when it involves a power structure or a someone they care about.
  • When it comes to uncomfortable conversations, text [through emails, messaging apps, and SMS] over face-to-face conversations offer the luxury of time and format to carefully consider and construct the words we use. It’s no surprise breaking up over text message is increasingly common these days – it takes the confrontation out of an uncomfortable situation.
  • Digging deeper into the dating world where some of these expectations around sexual boundaries are set, we realized early conversations really do revolve around the text messaging space.

‘To Be Honest’ is available now for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

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THE NCAA CELEBRATES COLLEGE SPORTS’ ROLE IN BRINGING DIVERSE PEOPLE TOGETHER

Our newest NCAA PSA spot titled “Label Me” launched on Selection Sunday and we couldn’t be more excited. Read more about how college sports play a role in bringing student-athletes together in Adweek; NCAA Launches Latest Brand PSA Focused on Inclusion.

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Two creatives on a mission to help people read between the headlines

The past election year has seen extreme polarization of voters, pundits, and the media. Outraged by the division and rising bias of the media, Alyssa Georg and Elena Knox – two members of our creative team, created readbetweentheheadlines.com, a site that cuts through the extreme left and right headlines to deliver an unbiased account of the news.

Two ad agency creatives’ quest to take down biased news” – DigiDay


On February 2nd, the leader of the free world held a news conference where among other things, he asked a black journalist if she was friends with the CBC.  Outraged, Alyssa Georg and Elena Knox couldn’t help asking themselves: How can the nation be so divided on issues that seemed so black and white? The answer was on Fox News.

CNN’s page was taken up by huge type that read, “Trump Lashes Out.” – a sentiment the creatives vehemently agreed with. Fox News, however, donned a headline in smaller type that read, “Press Beat Down: Trump blasts out of control media, defends agenda, administration.”

And that’s when it clicked. Within a matter of minutes, the duo bought the url readbetweentheheadlines.com and got to work. “We felt like we needed to a shine a light on the reality that part of the reason people are divided is because they are getting news that is completely biased,” says Georg.

On Read Between the Headlines, users are served up the same piece of news but delivered by Fox News and CNN. Sometimes the contrasts are huge, sometimes it’s just a few words that differentiate them, but they’re always written in favor of their audience’s party. In the middle is the actual news – the simple facts of what both articles are communicating with out the bias language.

The creatives did the piece in the hopes that it would make people realize that we are being fed our bias and therefor maybe create some understanding with the members of the opposing party. “Every day we are continually shocked by how different the headlines are even though they’re reporting the same thing,” says Knox. And while they may be liberals, they affirm both parties are at fault.

Would there be less division, anger and misunderstandings if we we’re all just getting the facts? Perhaps. And a simple generator isn’t going to change the world, but the women hope it will at least open a few eyes.

 

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A Nation of Immigrants

We are proud to be a part of this nation of immigrants, to employ people from all backgrounds, and to work with organizations that support freedom and justice for all.

Anthem created by SS+K for FWD.us in June, 2013

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Gen Z Gender Fluidity and the Opportunity for Brands

Until I was about 17, I asked for the girls’ toy with my McDonalds Happy Meal. How could I turn down a free MY LITTLE PONY!? The looks I received when I pulled around to the window still haunt me in my sleep.

In 1998 that made me “a queer,” but if I were a teenager today, it might be just the ticket I would need to earn a seat at the cool table. Today’s teenager passionately believes that he, she or “ze” has the right to create their own identity and to share that identity with the world. At the 2016 Youth Marketing Strategy conference last week, I was fascinated by the way Gen Z-inspired gender fluidity is being reflected in consumer and culture trends. The future is full of brand challenges as Gen Z’s desire to express identities free of traditional gender barriers clashes with a world where prejudice still lingers. Read More

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How the NCAA threw a wrench in the female empowerment trend.

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SS+K, Bully Pulpit Interactive, and Frontier Solutions have been working with the NCAA since July 2015. And in that time, we have helped their organization both understand and engage new audiences about their passion for creating opportunity for college athletes: through their commitment to academics, well-being and fairness. So when the ask came to empower female athletes in ad, we, two female creatives, were pissed. Read More

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When Snapchat Dethroned the Media King

Every year, in the window between Apple’s iPhone event and the day customers can actually buy one, tech press are given access to new devices early– as long as they agree to hold their reviews until a specific time of Apple’s choosing.  Apple’s embargo strategy has a history of being choreographed to ensure exposure in the publication it feels is most important on launch day. A discussion on last week’s CTRL-WALT-DELETE podcast between tech journalists Nilay Patel and Walt Mossberg of The Verge and Recode revealed how those priorities have shifted over the years. Read More

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We Go #0to60 For The President’s Council

Today, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition (PCFSN), we launched the “History of Exercise” with Funny or Die.

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BFF Trump in Your Face!

At SS+K we work across many types of brands, but once every four years we get to tap into our political roots and take part in the election, and what an election year this is! When our right to choose what we do with our bodies, who we marry, how we’re seen in the world and so much more is at stake, we had to do something.
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