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'Creative for a Cause' Campaign and Competition Highlights Diversity in Tech, Gives Visibility to Multicultural Artists

First Posted: May 21, 2015 05:00 AM EDT
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The "Creative for a Cause" campaign and competition, spearheaded by Fiverr and numerous other technology firms, is raising awareness about the need for diversity in the tech field while offering visibility to multicultural artists.

Fiverr, the world's largest marketplace for creative and professional services, joined forces with Creativity, Internet Week and the Bronx-based organization Code/Interactive, and together they've elected to inspire new generations of diverse technology leaders by underlining their individual skill and talent.

"We, at Fiverr, said, let's figure out one solution to a challenge that's happening within our industry, and that challenge was, how do we make the tech industry more diverse and more accessible for underrepresented communities?" Channing Barringer, senior director of public relations at Fiverr, said to Latin Post. "So, we approached Ad Age and through a series of conversations with them we went to Code/Interactive, whose mission is to inspire the next generation of technology leaders by teaching them computer science skills. We thought they would be a great partner; so, we, together with Ad Age, Creativity and Internet Week, came up with a campaign called 'Creative for a Cause.' Basically, what we wanted to do was tap into our creative community and ask them to help design an ad campaign that would benefit our partner, Code/Interactive, and it would draw attention to the ad on the table. So, we're really happy with the outcome."

On the main stage at Internet Week New York on Tuesday, May 19, the tech companies unveiled the winner of global contest. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, CNN contributor Vann Jones, Droga5's executive director Kevin Brady, Foursquare founder & CEO Dennis Crowley, Google Creative Lab's creative director Jesse Juriga and VP/Publisher of Ad Age Allison Arden acted as judges for the competition, examining more than 250 original entries from around the world. Judges initially selected the Top 10, but the ad titled "Escape," by designer Christian Liu and copywriter Jaume Rodriguez, was selected as the winning ad.

"This campaign was an opportunity to use our advertising skills and knowledge for an incredible cause. We both used to live in NY, a city very close to our hearts, and we spent a lot of time on the subway, where we dreamed of someday having an ad of ours featured," the winners said in a statement. "It was a privilege to take part in this contest, as we believe in C/I's mission: everyone in the U.S. should have the same amount of opportunity, regardless their race, sex and socio-economic status. And that means having access to tech education, one of the fast-growing sectors in the economy."

Barringer shared that judges provided leadership to the applicants. Also, judges expressed satisfaction with the quality of submissions and the inventive ideas that came from the community.

"In August, that ad will appear in more than 350 New York City subway stations city-wide. That's great visibility for the artist and the copywriter who came up with that campaign. But, it also starts a conversation among New Yorkers -- not just New Yorkers, but people from around the world," said Barringer. "Are we addressing the entire issue or the entire challenge around diversity and technology? No, but we're doing something that will impact people's lives in a positive way. It'll generate conversation, and, perhaps, really give the creative copywriter and the designer a lot of visibility around the city."

Presently, Fiverr is working with Ad Age to produce a full feature article on the winners, which should appear very soon and grant further exposure for the winners.

Fiverr sponsored the campaign, funding the cost of the ad campaign to appear across the 350 subway platforms. Also, Ad Age, Creativity and Internet Week helped to provide judges and offered a platform for the campaign itself. According to Barringer, Ad Age, Creativity and Internet Week were generous in helping to promote the campaign, soliciting contest entries through their marketing and social media channels. Additionally, Internet Week offered visibility at their Internet Week New York conference.

"Diversity in technology is a huge issue, and it's no secret that we need more people with diverse backgrounds innovating within the technology space. I think we need to think about who are the major consumers of technology, you have a large portion of people who over-index in certain platforms, but people who are not creating the technology behind those platforms," said Barringer. "We want to open doors for those people to get into the technology field and innovate, create products that reflect their experience, and I think ultimately great for not only them, but for everyone who consumes technology in anyway, to have the diversity of backgrounds and ideas that go beyond what we have today. I'm really happy that the conversation has been started, and we hope to continue it." 

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