Unilever's Degree Inclusive takes Innovation Grand Prix at Cannes

Product spurred by Wunderman Thompson reimagines deodorant for people with visual or upper-body motor disabilities

Published On
Jun 24, 2021

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Unilever’s Degree Inclusive deodorant for people with visual and upper-limb motor disabilities won the Cannes Lions Innovation Grand Prix, from agency Wunderman Thompson, Buenos Aires. The product came from a project launched by Christina Mallon, global head of Wunderman Thompson’s inclusive design practice, who has arm paralysis. Also marketed under the name Rexona Inclusive as part of the world’s biggest deodorant brand, the deodorant includes a hooked design for one-handed usage; magnetic closures that make it easier to take the cap off and put it back on for people with limited grip or no arms; a Braille label and instructions; and a larger roll-on applicator that makes it easier to reach more surface per swipe.

Degree Inclusive was designed for the 22 million people in the U.S. who have either visual impairment or upper-body mobility disabilities, said Kathryn Swallow, global brand VP of Degree and Rexona in an interview with Ad Age earlier this year.

“We said to Unilever, we think this is something important. Do you think this is something you could see yourself getting behind?” said Bas Korsten, global chief creative officer of Wunderman Thompson, describing the project. “And they did more than that. It’s been a short journey from idea to a product and a campaign even.”

Launch of a beta test with 200 U.S. users earlier this year was backed by films telling the stories of Nick, a barber with no hands who’s also a boxer, and Maria, a blind skater. The social media and publicity effort behind the April launch reached 2 billion earned impressions in 12 days.