Diversity and inclusion wins at the Omnicom Creative Jam

Creative Jams bring designers — of different talents, backgrounds, and points-of-view — together to do great work. Even better, is when these Creative Jams are used to do good work, designing to make our world a fairer, better place. Adobe recently collaborated with two of Omnicom Group’s verticals, Omnicom Precision Marketing Group (OPMG) and Omnicom Advertising Collective (OAC), to host one such Creative Jam design challenge with the goal of driving diversity and inclusion efforts across its huge agency network.

In mid-March, the Omnicom Creative Jam kicked off with 99 participants around the world, spread over 23 cross-disciplinary teams from 11 agencies within OPMG and OAC, with an XD bootcamp led by Adobe XD XDI and founder of design agency Digital Karma, Jill DaSilva. The teams were then tasked with designing and naming a fictional desktop app that would create greater diversity, equity, and inclusion across the network to benefit all Omnicom employees. Entries needed to address one of three themes aligned to Omnicom’s mission:

The participants received a huge dose of inspiration from a keynote delivered by Emily K. Graham (Omnicom’s chief equity & impact officer), which set the stage for the design challenge. Graham discussed Omnicom’s DE&I activities, specifically the OPEN 2.0 framework that the above three themes are part of, and gave all the teams the charge to problem-solve in transformative ways.

“We have the opportunity to create an equitable and inclusive workplace culture,” said Graham. “Omnicom is looking at DE&I for the long game. This is about the present, the future, and the expectancy. We have a long way to go. We’re making good strides, but we’re committed to chipping away at making progress every single day. Our vision and north star is achieving systemic equity. That’s a huge ambition.”

Emily K. Graham, Omnicom Group's chief equity & impact officer.

Teams had six days to design and prototype an app with Adobe XD, including content from Adobe Stock. The 20 submissions covered a huge range of experiences, from building transparency in salaries and company makeup to connecting experts across Omnicom to creating discussion forums to showcasing work from diverse team members.

The judging panel, featuring 16 design and DE&I leaders from across Omnicom, selected five finalist teams, evaluating them on the following criteria: the app needed to clearly address the theme(s) the team focused on — responsibility, opportunity, and accountability — it needed to align with Omnicom’s DE&I activities and advance them in positive ways — it needed to have a strong user experience and clear, easy-to-use interface for its target audience of Omnicom employees; and it needed to use a well-defined visual design.

The finalists presented their apps live during the Creative Jam finale on March 9 to a virtual audience of 250 people to a panel of three Omnicom leaders who selected the winning apps (the judges were Kirya Francis, chief diversity officer, Omnicom Advertising Collective — and Tony Hobley, chief diversity, equity, & inclusion officer, Omnicom Precision Marketing Group, and of course, Emily K. Graham herself).

“There were many Creative Jam participants for whom design is not their primary role (e.g. planners, strategists, copywriters, etc.) and I am blown away by the solutions that these teams created,” said DaSilva.

“It is truly inspiring to see how they made the best use of Adobe XD’s design and prototyping features to bring their solutions to life. I think this is a testament to how easy it is to use Adobe XD and the high level of talent inside the Omnicom group.”

Now, let’s take a look at the winners!

First Place — OpenMarket

OpenMarket, by Team Kahn of Omnicom Agency RAPP, is a platform designed to celebrate culture, community, and collaboration. It supports and amplifies underrepresented voices in the industry by enabling Omnicom employees to search for talent, collaborate with like-minded people, find opportunities and new jobs, compare salaries, and more.

Team Kahn Members
Heather Gaskell Junior Copywriter
Abel Jaquez, Experience Strategy Intern
Kenny Vuong, Art Director Intern
Nic Climer, Executive Creative Director

Second Place — Uplift

Uplift by Team Vectorgo, also from RAPP, is an app designed to reduce attrition of minority employees by making sure that their accomplishments can’t be overlooked.

Team Vectorgo Members
Jack Schuleman, Senior Copywriter
Alana Rung, Art Director
Jenna Yee, Experience Planner
Tori Millender, Junior Experience Planner

Third Place — Handshake

Handshake by Team The Five Toes at full-service creative, media, and advertising agency Barefoot Proximity facilitates meaningful one-to-one connections across the Omnicom network to help solve the challenges that its diverse talent faces at work and in everyday life.

Team The Five Toes Members
Julie Tran, Associate Creative Director
Lauren Bishop, Senior Copywriter
Mary Tighe, Senior Strategic Planner
Jeremy Thobe, Senior UX Specialist
Odjegba (OG) Emore, Senior Data, Analytics & Search Specialist

Fourth Place — Omnicom Horizons

Omnicom Horizons by Team & from full-service advertising agency GSD&M is a talent marketplace, job board, and community.

Team & Members
Tori Reneker, Digital ACD/Art Director
Donnine Canamar, Art Director
Jay Esteves, Senior Experience Strategist
Tyler DeBoard, Associate Director, Teams

Fifth Place — OmniNom

OmniNom by Team Alphabet Soup of digital experience design agency Critical Mass has one clear purpose: to enable people to have virtual lunch with one or several of their 79,500 Omnicom colleagues around the world.

Team Alphabet Soup Members
Martine Lavoie, Senior Art Director
Gene Ho, Producer
Dol Imnamkhao, Senior Designer
Kira Amin, User Experience Designer

Multi-faceted solutions drive DE&I efforts across Omnicom

The judges pointed out the high quality of the work. In fact, there was only half a point between the first and the second place. Winning teams received Amazon gift cards, further Adobe XD training and certification, exposure in DE&I-focused publications across the industry, and will present their app to Omnicom leadership for implementation.

One of the great joys of a Creative Jam is seeing how the solutions address the needs of Omnicom team members in so many ways. One of the clearest shared features of all the finalist apps was that they served multiple purposes for their users, and sought to become hubs and essential tools to provide many different types of data and experiences. We’re proud to see such multifaceted, purposeful solutions from our finalists. And we want to congratulate every team that submitted an app.