#RewritingTheCode has been shortlisted for the 2017 Brand Impact Awards, along with our work for London Symphony Orchestra, ARTE, London Cru, METI International, and The Butcher The Baker.

#RewritingTheCode seeks to expose the hidden values and behavioural codes of gender inequality.  The ambitious campaign was developed by us in collaboration with other WPP agencies and launched earlier in the year as a part of the Common Ground initiative.

Theirworld teamed up with WPP agencies The Partners, Kantar Added Value, Kantar Futures, MEC and VML to create a campaign that encourages leaders from all sectors to change negative attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate gender stereotypes. This is part of WPP’s commitment to Common Ground, the unprecedented industry-wide pledge to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. WPP is supporting Goal #5: achieving gender equality. The campaign was showcased at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, alongside the campaigns created by other agencies within the WPP, Publicis, Omnicom, IPG, Havas and Dentsu networks. 

#RewritingTheCode is inspired by the embedded social values that shape our lives every day. Using the lexicon and symbols of digital codes, the campaign questions gender stereotypes and encourages the audience to consider the cultural codes that hide beneath the surface of our daily lives, shaping our experiences and holding back women and girls.

The campaign launched on International Women’s Day and ran across a range of print and digital media, including the FT, Metro, Newsweek and The Huffington Post.

The campaign is a development of a previous Theirworld initiative, which aimed to give girls access to technology to increase their learning opportunities. Theirworld currently facilitates digital Code Clubs in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Lebanon, providing girls with coding and programming skills to support their formal schooling. 

The campaign’s name and idea were developed by Niamh Deehan, one of the winners of the D&AD New Blood Award 2015. Briefed by Theirworld, The Partners and WPP Worldwide Creative Director, John O’Keeffe, to devise a campaign to tackle barriers to girls’ education, Deehan came up with the idea of using the embed symbol to change cultural code. WPP sponsors the D&AD New Blood Academy.

Commenting on this new initiative, Sarah Brown, Founder and President of Theirworld, said: “The aim of the #RewritingTheCode campaign is to expose the hidden codes and values that shape the world around us, and ask questions such as: ‘Why don't girls around the world have equal access to education? Why don't women have equal pay in the workplace?’  

“We want a future where no girl is left out of the classroom, the boardroom or the conversation. Working with The Partners and its sister WPP agencies gives us the chance to get the campaign seen and heard by a far greater number of people and make an emotional connection that results in real actions that help children around the world.”  

#RewritingTheCode is just one of a number of initiatives that has been developed across WPP companies globally since the launch of Common Ground at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last year. Agencies have seized this extraordinary opportunity to collaborate with their commercial clients, the UN and, in some cases, their direct competitors in a way that embraces the ethos of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.