Leo Burnett has a simple message of solidarity to share with people impacted by the U.S. travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries. Beginning today, when you visit the Leo Burnett website you’ll be redirected to a new site, BurnettLeo.com.
A video on the new site explains that while English is read from left to right, Arabic is read from right to left. Regardless of how we read something, the advertising agency wants people to know that it stands in support of everyone and cares deeply about the values of humanity, bravery and kindness.
“Anyway you look at us. We are all human,” the website reads, from right to left. It’s all part of the agency’s #ReverseForKindness campaign aimed at supporting people across the world who are affected by the travel ban.
Leo Burnett’s new North American chief executive officer Andrew Swinand spearheaded the effort. Earlier in the week Swinand asked a number of staffers to change their titles on LinkedIn to “Human Being” in an act of solidarity. This morning he posted a full statement on his own LinkedIn page, after changing his title from CEO to Human Being.
For Swinand, the decision to take a stand against the travel ban so publicly came from his own experience as a foreigner. “One of the great blessings I have received in my life has been the opportunity to work globally and travel to over 50 countries. In these travels, I was fortunate enough to work with and get to know a huge variety of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and countries. It taught me the power of diverse thinking to bring the best creative ideas to life. Leo Burnett refers to this as ‘borderless creativity,’ and I believe it is an incredibly powerful concept,” he wrote.
He went on to explain that over the last few days he has “been reflecting on how to reaffirm my belief in the power of creativity to change human behavior and create good in the world.” The idea for #ReverseForKindness was then born.
You can read the full statement on Swinand’s LinkedIn page.
The agency encourages everyone to get involved. The website includes a feature that lets people tweet messages of support and automatically reverses the tweets so they read from right to left. Leo Burnett will also run a number of reversed messages on its own social channels, including Instagram and Twitter.