How to tell more diverse stories

Last week Sir Ian McKellen appeared on stage at the Cannes Lions Festival 2017 with our sister agency The Brooklyn Brothers and Brown Eyed Boy. He was there to encourage and challenge brands to tell more authentic stories, co-create with talent, and ultimately to insert more diversity in their creative communications. He discussed his acting career, coming out and his work with schools and young people. Here are 6 key takeaways on how brands can tell stories with purpose that are entertaining, challenge the status quo and include more LGBTQ heroes in storylines.

1.SEE DIFFERENT PERSPECITVES
Sir Ian spoke about how vital it is to look around you and be part of the world. To tell stories that ask questions and see things from different but nonetheless real perspectives (such as the moral ambiguity of Magneto and the beautiful differences of all the X-men in society).

2.BELIEVE IN THE STORIES YOU TELL
Believe in the stories you tell, the writing must be great and the story inspiring and challenging to tell, no matter what you worry an audience may or may not be interested in.

3.RESIST LABELS
Tell stories of people in a fluid way, no-one real fits in a box.

4.BE FUTURE FACING
Today will always be yesterday at lightning speed especially for the young, so look forward all the time.

5.THINK STORY FIRST
Put the story first and the audience profile second, allow people to make their own decisions on what interests them – if a story is inspiring and has a purpose that is what matters.

6.BREAK SOME RULES
Challenging convention and authority is okay and interesting if it means true stories are well told and get a platform or voice.

The Brooklyn Brothers and Brown Eyed Boy is inviting brands to commission and work as co-creators with the team to make a series of short films re-casting our most loved heroes in a new more diverse light. The first short has the ambition to re-imagine a quintessentially British spy, which has already excitingly got interest from many “A” list Hollywood LGBT talent. Facebook has already pledged their support to act as a live online premier broadcaster and to promote the film(s) with views.