in this edition

  • Accessibility and bias in digital experiences
  • Learn how to remove racist, sexist and ableist language from content
  • The power of 80/20 so we can do less to do more
  • The value of being ready to leverage moments in advertising
  • SXSW trend reports 
  • Meet the new spark trends team

This newsletter edition was made possible by research and work done by Ali Barroso, Margaret Files, Cat Boyce, Regan Hill, and Ariba Jahan. 

accessibility, bias & inclusion

 Accessibility can't be an afterthought

At Trends & Coffee, Ali Barroso (Digital Product Manager) shared a few takeaways from SXSW Interactive around accessibility and inclusion in digital experiences, avoiding stereotypes when designing chatbots and the importance of always including video captions. Accessibility must be a priority from the beginning, because when you make something accessible, it benefits everyone. According to a WebAIM study of the top million website home pages, 97.4% of those assessed in February 2021 failed to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Ali asked the question: How can we bring in accessibility right from the beginning, even at the vendor and partners procurement level?


Short form video drives more use of captions

With the rise of short form content on social platforms, companies are beginning to understand the importance of using video captions. According to CANVAS8, Facebook reports that users turn sound off for up to 85% of videos. Tiktok 's  #deaftiktok gets 862 million views and keeps growing, so they recently enabled auto caption to support the community. Adobe has a speech-to-text tool that can generate transcripts and caption. 


Dig into these CANVAS8 Reports: The fight for digital accessibility, Deaf Tiktok influencers leading content, What's next for accessible digital design


Chatbots can perpetuate bias

When designing chatbots, focus on functionality and providing value while minimizing the focus on creating a personality that might perpetuate biases and stereotypes. Planned Parenthood's Roo is a good example of a nonbinary chatbot and Woebot is another good example of a chatbot, made for helping people manage their mental health.


Content has the power to include and exclude

Showing diverse representation, watching out for bias and using inclusive language are all critical to creating content and digital experiences for our audiences. Here are some reads and tools to get you started:

pareto principle & moments

 At Trends & Coffee, Margaret Files (VP, Marketing Communications) shared learnings from Ann Hiatt’s ‘Say No, Get More’ presentation at SXSW, and how the Pareto principle can be used as a framework to understand how we are spending our time. Once you identify the 20% that is driving most of your impact toward your life goals (whether goals at work or outside of work), how can you then optimize the other 80% of your time to support that 20%? Margaret shared how “Ann used a metaphor of a base camp -- If you’re climbing Mount Everest, you don’t just go up and up and up the mountain. You come back down to the base camp multiple times to refuel, acclimate, get your bearings, and then go further the next day.”  


She also spoke about another panel she attended at SXSW that addressed how it may look like brands capitalize on trends in the moment, but often, it takes a lot of time strategically preparing in advance. Margaret shared the panelists' advice: “Build the right team, then try the ‘weird things’ and let the numbers speak for themselves.” It got us talking about how the Ad Council could prepare different options for our campaigns and be ready to pivot based on audience response could help us be nimble, take strategic risks, and find new opportunities -- not only in social media but potentially in other scenarios too.

SXSW trend reports

meet the new spark trends team 

Thank you Regan Hill, Cat Boyce, Anastasia Goodstein, Maya Warburg and Eric Chuang (who is no longer at the Ad Council) for being part of the Spark Trends Team as our pilot cohort! Thank you for your thoughtful work and sharing your learnings at Trends & Coffee and with our Adlibbing readers. Catch up with their Adlibbing articles.

On that note, we'll be sending an updated Trends & Coffee calendar invite. 

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