EA Sports has won Channel 4's 2020 Diversity in Advertising Award, claiming £1m worth of commercial airtime for its "authentic portrayal" of UK Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) cultures.
The games publisher will launch its winning campaign on Channel 4 in 2021.
What is Channel 4's Diversity in Advertising Award?
Each year, Channel 4 aims to push diversity beyond editorial content and into the commercial sphere by inviting brands to compete for ad space to run more inclusive campaigns.
Past winners include Maltesers, which brought disability to new audiences with a series of humorous real stories to break down barriers, and the RAF with a portrayal of women in the media. Last year, a "progressive and empowering" Starbucks spot, which brought transgender issues to the fore as part of a brief to challenge LGBT+ stereotypes. scooped the prize.
This year, the brief to advertisers was to promote authentic portrayals of UK Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) cultures in advertising.
The winner was decided at a socially distanced judging day held at London’s Roundhouse, with Lloyds Bank (MediaCom x GUAP Studios) also being awarded a ‘highly commended’ accolade. For the first time ever, Channel 4 is also awarding an enhanced package of £350,000 of free advertising airtime to the brand for this campaign in a match-funding arrangement.
Runners up were Boots (Ogilvy UK), #MerkyBooks (PlayNice), Royal Navy (Engine) and Tesco (in-house entry), all which will be awarded up to £250,000 of match funded airtime – reflecting Channel 4’s ambition to encourage as many of the pitched ideas to make it to air as possible.
The winning entry from EA and Adam&EveDDB will air early in 2021.
The judging panel featured experts from The Marketing Society, Isba, Thinkbox and The Advertising Association (AA).
'A deserving winner'
Matt Salmon, Channel 4’s sales director and chair of judges, said: “We created The £1m Diversity in Advertising award to inspire lasting change in the industry’s approach to the representation of diverse groups in advertising and we’ve seen the many benefits of this through previous winners’ campaigns.
"EA Sports are deserving winners of this year’s prize and we really hope each of the runners-up takes advantage our significant match-funding offer to bring their entries to life.”