Open Inclusion and AMV BBDO launch AMVxOpen

By Christine Hemphill | 20th May 2022

Coinciding with Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 19th May, AMV BBDO is launching AMVxOpen, a new partnership which will work with brands to find accessibility and disability-inclusive experience gaps to develop solutions that better attract and serve all customers. 

Born from the belief that brand experiences should be of equal quality for everybody, AMV has partnered with Open Inclusion to launch the new offering. Open Inclusion are global experts in inclusive consumer insight, strategy and product innovation with access to over 275,000 people with disabilities. 

For too long, brands and businesses have overlooked the disabled community, and this lack of visibility is a major issue. 1 in 5 of us are impacted by a disability today and 1 in 3 will acquire a disability at some point in our life. AMVxOpen will work to design with and by people with specific needs and will allow everyone using that product or service, regardless of whether or not they have these specific needs, to enjoy it more. 

Sarah Hore-Lacy, Head of AMVxOpen at AMV says, “By combining Open Inclusions’ expertise with AMV’s knowledge of our client’s business and brand goals, we are better equipped to understand and serve these communities. This is not only the right thing to do, but better for business too. These communities have immense spending power and are incredibly loyal’. 

Christine Hemphill, Managing Director at Open Inclusion added, “Working with a skilled, creative and deeply innovative agency such as AMV will empower the insights that Open can provide from across the disability community. It will inform a new generation of products, services and experiences that will improve the equity of commercial solutions while providing great value to organisations who embrace the power of a better design approach that is more broadly informed”.

AMVxOpen provides unparalleled access and understanding of underserved communities to help drive business outcomes. Multiple offerings will be available for brands, depending on where clients are on their inclusive journey. The AMVxOpen offering is broad, ranging from consultancy to market sizing, inclusive innovation to co-creation and more. 

Several clients are already benefiting from the AMVxOpen offering, including Rexona who worked with the team on their global launch of the Degree Metathon, the world’s first marathon in the Metaverse. The immersive experience combined the world of sport and socially-interactive gaming. Based in Decentraland’s virtual world, it highlighted the need for accessibility, representation and inclusion in these emerging environments. The idea was reviewed first by AMVxOpen’s expert panel and then tested by participants with a variety of needs on the event day. These insights provided a wealth of actionable, practical feedback. They also highlighted a high degree of curiosity in the Metaverse and interest across the community to engage in novel brand experiences. Especially experiences that are designed with their input, considerate to and inclusive of diverse needs, preferences and identities. 

Kathryn Swallow, Global Brand Vice President of Degree® added, “I am delighted that AMV have this new partnership. It fully aligns with our brand purpose, to inspire the confidence in everyone to move more and will help enable us to continue to make a difference, overcoming the stereotypes that today exist, fighting for a world where everyone really does have the confidence to move. Working with the team on Methathon was invaluable both to provide insight and to support us along the journey. I’m looking forward to working together on the next chapter of exciting projects that are coming”.

AMVxOpen is also working with other clients on live briefs for inclusive design, using research to identify unaddressed needs and improve the accessibility and the experience for customers.

The partnership is an example of the agency’s new open API way of working. It combines the best available partners in the world, the best of Omnicom offerings and the creativity and leadership of AMV. The new system will enable the agency to expand strategic offerings to clients, including within sustainability, Digital & Commerce and Gaming. Sam Hawkey, AMV BBDO CEO says, “We fundamentally believe open, collaborative, distributed systems are key to mutual value and growth. An open API enables us to build products and capabilities in key areas that drive growth for our clients, for us and for our partners”.

Simply Open Awards

AMV BBDO is also sponsoring the Simply Open Awards. This is a 2-minute video competition offering individuals with any disability or other specific access needs, and their support network, to demonstrate a solution they have created to better manage access challenges in a way that enhances independence, capability or joy. This can be something new or adapting an existing product or solution to fit that person’s requirements. One of the previous solutions was a wheel frame pouch for wheelchair users to carry essentials, created by Pragya Ghildial, a Para-Athlete with spinal cord injury.

Promoted by Open Inclusion in partnership with Enable India, the Simply Open awards are being run across six countries (United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), with more than £25,000 of prizes available and an opportunity for two winners to present their solutions on stage at The Zero Project Conference 2023, the global accessibility conference in Vienna. AMV is currently sponsoring the Communications Category and three members of the agency will be part of the jury. For full details, prize structure and how to enter the Simply Open Awards, please visit: www.simplyopen.io/awards

About AMV BBDO

AMV BBDO believes in the power of radical empathy and creativity to solve the toughest business problems. In 2021, the agency won 5 Grand Prix, including a Titanium GP at Cannes Lions, a Black Pencil at the D&AD and six Grand Prix at The One Show, being named Agency of the Year in these three shows. It was the #1 Creative Agency in the UK in 2021, according to Drum World Creative Rankings. It was also Agency of the Year at Campaign Big Awards 2021. The team has the longest consecutive run of Golds in the history of the IPA Effectiveness Awards and is the winner of half of all the Marketing Society Grand Prix awards since 2012. They have also topped the sector across Europe in the inaugural Financial Times Diversity Leaders report 2019 and were named one of the top 10 best & bravest agencies on the planet in 2021 and 2022 by Contagious Pioneer Report. The agency is part of the BBDO network, with over 15,000 people in 289 offices across 81 countries, and part of Omnicom holding, often creating bespoke multi-disciplinary teams for clients.

About Open Inclusion

Open Inclusion provides services in market research, user insight, innovation and service design. They help businesses understand and access the market segments they may otherwise be missing, especially those with access needs such as people with permanent, temporary or situational impairments or of advanced age. Open Inclusion are the Founders of the Simply Open Awards.

For further information, please contact Christine Hemphill – christine@openinclusion.com or Juliana Decanine – Juliana.decanine@amvbbdo.com