The tagline for dpThoughts is, "Ideas. Insights. Inspiration".
Last week I came across two great ideas and I couldn't decide which one to share. So I'm going to share both.
The first idea is a very simple -- and arguably long overdue -- innovation from Crayola. They released a pack of crayons called "Colors of the World", which contains 24 skin tone shades so that children can colour themselves accurately.
In the press release, Crayola's CEO Rich Wuerthele said, “With the world growing more diverse than ever before, Crayola hopes our new Colors of the World crayons will increase representation and foster a greater sense of belonging and acceptance... We want the new Colors of the World crayons to advance inclusion within creativity and impact how kids express themselves.” – Crayola CEO Rich Wuerthele
It's worth mentioning that they didn't just take their best guess as to what those skin colour shades should be. Instead, they partnered with Victor Casale, who is "formerly Chief Chemist and Managing Director, R&D of MAC cosmetics and Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Cover FX and currently CEO of MOB Beauty, possesses over 30 years of experience in creating foundation colors for global skin tones." In other words, somebody who could add some authenticity to the initiative, moving it from a mere PR stunt to important innovation.
Crayola deserves some serious credit for not only recognizing an issue that would affect a significant percentage of the young people using their product, but also for understanding they may not have the in-house expertise required to solve the problem and choosing to seek outside help. That's something that more and more smart companies are doing, and it's a very good thing.
The second idea is a "we're in this together" advertisement.
But it's an absolutely remarkable "we're in this together" advertisement that's very different from all the generic, tone-deaf, "in these uncertain times" spots we've been subjected to over the last four months.
This ad isn't trying to sell you a product, it's trying to sell you a message of hope.
It just happens to be a message of hope featuring some of the world's greatest athletes of all time, narrated by basketball superstar Lebron James.
Nike's "Never Too Far Down" dropped on May 23, and it already has over 41 million views on YouTube, so there's a good chance you may have already seen it by now.
But if you haven't, take a minute and a half out of your day to watch it...
Two great ideas.
The first came from a company that recognized an opportunity to be more inclusive and serve their customer base better.
The second came from a company that understands not everything we need right now can be ordered from Amazon.
P.S. I like to give credit where it's due. So here's a hat-tip to Jed Schneiderman for bringing the Crayola idea to my attention, to Andrew Stewart for bringing it to his, and to Joseph Nanni for sharing the Nike ad on his Twitter feed. (When he wrote, "This is a f*cking ad", it virtually guaranteed I was going to watch it because Nanni knows a thing or two about great ads. Except he didn't use the asterisk.