FCB finds an inclusive way to mark Orange Shirt Day

The agency developed an unbranded Instagram filter that anyone can use to help educate people about the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

FCB Canada is inviting marketers and other Canadians to join the agency in observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day with an unbranded Instagram filter.

The filter, which is available on mobile through the agency’s Instagram page, is a digital recreation of the orange shirt. It was developed by the agency’s diversity, equity and inclusion team and is part of a larger effort at the agency to observe Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – as well as the eighth annual Orange Shirt Day.

“We were thinking about how we could rally participation within our agency that will lead to more responsible changes,” explains Czarina Campo, who led the effort for the agency. “We thought about sending orange shirts to everyone in the company, but we wanted them to come from Indigenous providers and not just a big box store that sells them for profit.”

Being the first time Truth and Reconciliation Day is being recognized – and given the way most Canadians have been educated about the history of Indigenous people – awareness of the holiday’s origins, the legacy of residential schools and how to contribute to the aims of Reconciliation are important and meaningful goals. And when Instagram users go to FCB’s Instagram page to find the filter, they will first be greeted with Story posts containing educational resources diving into that history.

On top of the filter, the agency is making donations to both the Orange Shirt Society and the Indian Residential School Survivor Society, encouraging others to do the same by driving to them in the Story posts as well.

In addition to the supply issue, the team was concerned about the carbon footprint that would come with 300 orange T-shirts. The team started to consider a digital option, ultimately settling on the Instagram filter. From there, the plan “evolved into something that would be more inclusive to everyone and not just our agency.”

“We thought the filter would be fun, accessible and inclusive,” adds Tim Welsh, VP and managing director at the agency. “You don’t have to be from FCB to get it – everyone can download and share it.”

The Instagram filter is just one part of the effort FCB is undertaking to observe the day. It is also hosting guest speaker Lindsay Krestchmer, executive director of the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council, who will “be speaking to us about truth and reconciliation and more practical calls to action,” Campo says.

FCB itself has Indigenous representation on staff, Welsh says, and has an outreach program in place with advertising colleges “to provide opportunities for internships for people from the Indigenous community.”

“We are also doing general outreach to high schools that have underrepresented populations,” says Welsh. “The Indigenous community are included in that outreach as an important community for whom we are hoping to provide more insight and opportunities into the advertising community.”