Cannes Lions

Conscious Keyboard

BETC HAVAS SAO PAULO / TIM / 2021

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Overview

Background

Brazil was the last occidental country to abolish slavery, that had a profound effect in our society: structural racism. An unwanted legacy that people don’t notice anymore and still lives on in our culture, behavior and most important our language.

In a world where everyone is connected and have a mobile, words have become exponentially more powerful. The racially biased expressions have now the reach to impact millions of people.

TIM, one of Brazil’s biggest phone carriers, has diversity and inclusion as its brand pillars and knows the crucial role smartphones have in shaping today’s society. That’s why we wanted to raise awareness to the racism hidden in the language we use, but most important, we wanted to create a tool to fight against it with an even more powerful weapon: education.

Idea

TIM Conscious Keyboard app is a mobile keyboard that alerts the user when a racially biased expression is used. It then teaches about the history behind the word and proposes a different vocabulary. This way creating a more inclusive environment in our society.

Strategy

The Black Consciousness Day in Brazil is a big PR date where all media outlet focuses on the issues related to the race inequalities. Knowing that, we programmed the release of the app to the day before, making the subject of structural racism, and the new tool to fight it, the hot story of the day. We fed the news with demos and first access to the keyboard. Creating a media first experience.

Social media played a big role in it also. The launch of the app had a big blast of black influencers endorsing the initiative and incentivizing downloads. They gave their testimonials, as well as showing some of the features and words in the keyboard.

With zero media budget the conversation around it came heavily from the repercussion it got on traditional and social media.

Execution

TIM with the help of black scholars and linguistic experts conducted an extensive research of the Portuguese language. Gathering information from the formal and informal use of words, their meanings and the impact on race. This study was the foundation of data base with hundreds of terms and expressions that feed the Conscious Keyboard.

The app was published in both Apple Store and Play Store on 19/11/2020, just before The Black Awareness Day in Brazil creating a massive conversation and PR coverage.

Outcome

• Number 7 on the app store in the first day of release.

• The structural racism in words became subject of morning shows.

• PR coverage in more than 30 national media outlets and 10 international media.

• The app became an education tool in elementary schools.

• The app became a default feature in the installation kit of every TIM phone.

• It served as inspiration for similar initiatives that tackled other kinds of prejudice.

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