We are more used giving out awards than receiving them here at Funny Women, so last night was a very special treat to be part of the creative team that generated an award-winning internal communications campaign about diversity for our workplace client, international property company JLL.
The award for ‘Best use of humour’ was presented to JLL at the CorpComms Digi Awards for their #icantbelieveisaidthat internal communications campaign. Both creative partners Funny Women and Odd Man Out were acknowledged in the citation.
We have been working with JLL for the last year as part of the company’s plan to increase diversity and inclusion across its UK business. As well as delivering events and workshops to their women’s network within the business and external partners, we were consulted about how humour could play a part in their broader diversity strategy.
The result was a series of short comedy films addressing racism, ageism, gender stereotyping, homophobia and mental health filmed in the style of comedy classics like The Office and Parks and Rec featuring both JLL staff and professional actors.
The project was instigated by comedian, Catherine Bohart, who was working at JLL, and went on to have a starring role. The films were cast by the Funny Women team with an original script by Kate Stone and brilliantly realised creatively by Odd Man Out under the direction of James McCarthy.
Each video was launched separately as part of an internal viral campaign where part of the fun was seeing real JLL employees interacting with believable imposters played by a cast of actors.
“We cast actors and comedians who we all felt could easily pass as real employees of JLL and filmed them during the normal working day so that the action blended with the buzz of ‘hot desking’, meetings and coffee breaks, explains Lynne Parker.
“Coupled with my Funny Women colleague Kate’s brilliant dialogue and James’s pithily comic direction, this was always going to be a winner. Funny Women is very proud to share in this award.”
The use of comedy enabled JLL to engage with employees using a bite sized yet familiar entertainment format whilst still at their (hot) desks. The campaign has encouraged more conversations about diversity and inclusion and requests for advice from employees seeking to handle difficult situations. They are now being used as part of JLL’s graduate induction programme, and have been picked up by JLL in Asia, America and EMEA.
After receiving the award, Clive Booth, JLL’s head of communications UK said, “this campaign was delivered in an entertaining way to employees who would not normally engage with diversity training, but also helped demonstrate that as a large corporate, JLL does not take itself too seriously.”