Ad accessibility

An accessible evening, to celebrate the best of the industry

As an integral part of the advertising industry, it’s important for us to occasionally take a moment to appreciate the amazing talent it has to offer. And there’s no better place to do this, than at the British Arrows awards, which celebrates the best of moving image advertising.

After a great experience last year, we decided to make our mark on the event for the second time. We proudly sponsored an award and worked with the Arrows team to organise live subtitling for greater accessibility. Additionally, this year two of the team starred in ‘Clearcast Perspectives’ prior to the night, where they discussed the industry, our future and who they’d award an arrow to.

“It’s very important to keep going with things like the arrows because the industry itself is incredibly important for the British economy.”

Sam Smith, Managing Director, Clearcast.
A man in a white shirt and a woman in a black dress sit on a bench in front of some greenery. A man in a black t-shirt stands next to them with a clapperboard.
David Joel, Commercial & Operations Director, and Sam Smith, Managing Director, with a member of production, on set at ARRI Stage London.

Glamorous Arrows

On 21st March, over 1200 guests swarmed the JW Marriott Grosvenor House London. The black-tie event saw a parade of glamorous dresses and sharp suits, assisted by Eleanor’s Glam Bar which pampered guests with hair, make-up and shoe shining. 128 tables flanked the arrow-shaped stage, hosted by, hilarious-as-ever, Rylan Clark. Some of Clearcast attended alongside our special guests from ISBA, IPA, Advertising Association, ITV Creative, Production Factory and Betfair.

Winning Arrows

Innovation and creativity was rewarded across skills from editing and casting, to fashion and cinematography. A full list of winners in 47 categories (almost one for every year of the gala’s history, as it marks its 48th!) can be found here, including the Charity & Public Service award, sponsored by us. Our very own Sam Smith presented the gold to Evoca Foundation for their brilliant ad #WomanLifeFreedom, RISE, made by Black Dog Films, Virtual Films and Absolute.

“This is a passion project and a protest piece, and the fact that it’s resonated… is just the most amazing, overwhelming thing for us.”

Joseph Ogunmokun, who won the gold Charity & Public Service award. The full interview can be found here.

Accessible Arrows

We were honoured to work with the Arrows team on accessibility again, to ensure all guests could engage with the show. British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters took to the stage, and we organised for live subtitles, provided by My Clear Text, to be displayed across screens.

Photo 1 is a stage with two yellow screens either side, showing the Young Arrows logo and a white box containing subtitles. Photo 2 is a woman in a black suit speaking in sign language. She raises two fingers on both hands. Photo 3 is a man in a grey suit speaking in sign language. He spreads all of his fingers out and his mouth makes an oh shape.
Subtitles from My Clear Text, and the talented BSL interpreters. A big thank you to both for their work.

Ad accessibility is important to us (read some of our efforts here). The number of TV ads which feature subtitles is still surprisingly low, despite the reportedly widespread use of them by TV viewers. And although things are starting to improve with technological advancements making it cheaper and easier, there’s still a long way to go. So, we encourage the addition of subtitles (of which we, among others, are a supplier you can choose) as well as Audio Description, BSL or smart creative choices.

Therefore, drawing attention to this topic in a room full of the brightest industry talents, made perfect sense. Our key takeaway for guests would be to consider accessibility – much like we did with the Arrows team for this year’s show – at the very start of campaign planning, working it into the creative, budget and timings early on, so that no one is an afterthought.

Thank you to the British Arrows team for another exciting evening and a huge congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and winners.

4th April 2024