We live in a richly diverse world, on a beautifully diverse continent. And yet technology still discriminates against our differences – spellcheck continues to use its notorious red underscore to flag names that don’t fit within a narrow band of convention as typos. Nando’s, whose name also gets the red line, wanted to prove its commitment to diversity and inclusion by fighting the injustice that is the spellcheck squiggle. By doing so, the flame-grilled chicken brand aimed to show solidarity with the nation. To fire up debate. To boldly assert that, “No, your name is not a mistake”.
Together with Nando’s, we tackled the challenge with a powerful idea – a simple idea. We launched the multi-platform #rightmyname campaign and invited people across South Africa to add their spellcheck-rejected names to an online database – a list that they could download and use to update their computer dictionaries to expel the offending red line forever.
In a high-profile media first, we partnered with the Sunday Times, the country’s largest newspaper, and inserted spellcheck’s red underline below all non-traditional names in the editorial content of the paper’s first few pages. The nation saw red. The idea was landed. Then, we appealed to several well-known influencers – comedians, politicians, radio personalities and the like – to join in on the movement. Each was sent a personalised shirt featuring their name underlined with removable red thread. Each was asked to video themself pulling out the stitching and to share the footage with the world. On 21 March 2018, Human Rights Day, with the nation now fully onboard, the online database of names was released and made ready for upload. Spellcheck dictionaries haven’t been the same since.
The campaign did precisely what Nando’s had hoped it would. It got people thinking. And talking. And once again, the brand was right at the heart of the conversation. Not a single cent was spent on advertising media, and yet more than 70 000 people (and counting) added their unique names to the list. #rightmyname earned over 53 million media impressions. And people got to reclaim their names as legitimate terms, not typos.
- R0.00 spent on advertising media
- 70 000+ added names
- 53 million media impressions
More about the work
Fighting injustice, one name at a time