The Brands Fighting for Inclusivity | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

The Brands Fighting for Inclusivity

By Joanna Fragopoulos

Brands wield tremendous power and influence; thus, a brand has the power to promote inclusivity and create change in positive ways. This feat can be accomplished through creative content, messaging, and partnerships. It only takes one voice to provide support, relief, and connection.

The 2023 REGGIE Awards showcase and highlight campaigns that do just this. Below are some award-winning campaigns that shine a light on inclusivity practices.

Ponysaurus Brewing

As a response to anti-queer remarks made by North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, Ponysaurus Brewing created its notable "Lt. Governor's Fund for the Fabulous," through which some of the brand's profits "went to support LGBTQ+ rights in North Carolina, including supporting EqualityNC and sending LGBTQ+ teens to the inclusive summer camp QORDS in his [the Lt. Governor's] name," as described in the ANA case study. The brand also sought to educate people on LGBTQ+ rights and the community as a whole.


Finance company Ally wanted to celebrate everyday heroes that represent everyone; thus "The Milestone Initiative" was created. The brand saw an opportunity to create more diversity in the comic book industry and hosted an "open call for applications across social media, PR, and OOH, [for] 24 diverse comic writers and artists [who] were selected from more than 1,000 applicants nationwide to be the first Milestone Initiative cohort. The cohort underwent a 10-week hybrid curriculum, receiving virtual training and mentorship from comic industry legends and personal finance education from Ally. Then the cohort convened in person to network and complete a capstone project in Los Angeles."

These winners' works were also featured in publications alongside Ally ads.


The outdoor brand Merrell "found that 89 percent of women were feeling burnt out by the pandemic, which was leading to serious health effects including poor sleep, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and negative cardiovascular health. Self-care felt hard, time consuming, and expensive as the industry served up endless solutions — from grounding mats, to serums, to stones," per the ANA case study.

To help women combat stress, Merrell encouraged women to spend 15 minutes outside; the brand sought to "give them a new way to connect to the outdoors."


Dove's #DetoxYourFeed campaign aimed to boost young girls' self-esteem, which social media use can so erode. As explained in the ANA case study, the company prompted young girls to "unfollow toxic accounts through a unique partnership with highly visible mother-daughter duo Gabrielle Union and Zaya Wade, the creation of branded content educating the masses on alarming statistics, education with an immersive workshop experience, and work with influencers across the One Dove community."

In addition, the brand also held a virtual workshop with Dove educator Jess Weiner and psychotherapist Nadia Adessi.

Clif Bar

Clif discovered through National Geographic research that BIPOC communities "are far less likely to engage in nature-based outdoor recreation activities, with historic discrimination being a large underlying factor," as laid out in in the ANA case study. The company sought to change this fact.

To do so, the brand created the CLIF CORPS Athlete Coalition through which athletes and nonprofits could tell inspiring stories. It also created an internal program, CLIF CORPS, whose goal was to "increase disadvantaged communities' access to the outdoors and sports. The program's participating athletes and nonprofits were a mix of new and existing partners strategically selected and paired based on shared values."

The company also worked with Venus Williams and Sunisa Lee to educate and inspire fans.


Despite the fact that women are avid sports fans, and 40 percent of athletes are women, only 10 percent of sports media coverage is allocated to them. This alarming fact prompted Buick to shine a light on, and elevate, women's sports, as well as reach out to generation Z and millennial women.

To do so, Buick "reviewed its NCAA sponsorship to ensure the brand invested equally in women's and men's sports," as explained in the ANA case study. It created its #SEEHERGREATNESS campaign to address these issues.


Mastercard created its Mastercard Touch Card to serve the partially sighted and blind community. To create the card, the company worked with The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and VISIONS to create cards that were accessible.

Unilever and Walgreens

Unilever and Walgreens wanted to appeal to multicultural shoppers and create a more inclusive space for them. To do so, the companies created the "Untold Beauty" campaign, which showcased influencers instead of models, and shared their beauty routines.

Moreover, the organizations "empowered multicultural shoppers to tell their stories and their experiences, giving Walgreens the opportunity to truly listen to their shoppers like never before. The organizations shared multicultural beauty stories and trumpeted diverse voices and perspectives, creating much-needed change and filling Walgreens' aisles and the digital ecosystem with gorgeous multicultural faces, with their curves and waves and their myriad skin tones," as reported in the ANA case study.

Unilever and Kroger

Unilever partnered with Kroger to create a gender-neutral campaign for its deodorants aimed at tweens. The campaign, "Scents of Confidence," focused its messaging on interests (such as activism) rather than gender stereotypes. The companies drew guidance for the campaign from insights and research; for instance, Unilever reported that "23 percent expect to change their gender identity once in their lifetimes" and "56 percent are buying clothes suited for any gender."

Check out more REGGIE awards here.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Joanna Fragopoulos is a director of editorial and content development at ANA.