Unilever and Wunderman Thompson Develop An Inclusive Deodorant
New product innovation aims to inspire the industry to make products more inclusive and accessible for all
Unilever’s Degree brand - also called Sure, Shield and Rexona - has launched an inclusive deodorant for people with visual impairment and upper limb motor disabilities: Degree Inclusive.
One in four Americans, and one in five Brits, has a disability, but despite being the largest minority community across the globe, products and experiences are still not designed with this community in mind. Across the beauty and personal care industry, there is currently no deodorant product suitable for people with upper limb disabilities to use; twisting a deodorant cap, turning a stick, or pushing down on an aerosol can with limited arm mobility is a real challenge – and sometimes the fear of sweating keeps people with disabilities from moving as much as they would like to.
The team at Wunderman Thompson Buenos Aires - who came up with the original idea of making an inclusive deodorant - also created a powerfully inspiring campaign which demonstrates how an everyday utility product like deodorant can revolutionise movement for two disabled people.
Unilever partnered with Wunderman Thompson and the agency's Inclusive Experience Practice, alongside occupational therapists, engineers, and consultants with disabilities. Driven by a mission to make the deodorant application process accessible to everyone, Degree Inclusive has been designed with the following revolutionary features as noted in the brand’s product development video:
● A hooked design for one-handed usage
● Magnetic closures that make it easier to take the cap off and put it back on for users with limited grip and/or vision impairment
● Enhanced grip placement for easier application for users with limited grip or no arms
● A braille label with instructions for users with vision impairment
● A larger roll-on applicator to reach more surface area per swipe
“As a brand that’s committed to inspiring confidence in everyone to move more, Degree believes no one should be held back from breaking a sweat and enjoying the transformative benefits of movement," said Kathryn Swallow, global Degree brand vice president. “More than 60 million people in the US live with a disability, yet products and experiences are still not designed with this community in mind. With Degree Inclusive we hope to inspire bold action across the industry to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal playing field.”
Working in collaboration with award-winning international design studio, SOUR, the Degree Inclusive prototype was co-developed with a cross discipline team at Wunderman Thompson, led by Christina Mallon, Wunderman Thompson’s global head of inclusive design.
“As a disabled person, I’ve experienced first-hand the challenges of living in a world of conventional design, where most products and services are not designed with the disabled community in mind,” said Christina Mallon.
“We are in this industry because we want to make a difference,” added Bas Korsten, global chief creative officer, Wunderman Thompson. “For our clients, for the people they serve. And I don’t think I’ve ever worked on a project that will make more of a difference to more people than this one. It has been such an unforgettable journey with the amazing Degree team, our talented Buenos Aires office and my incredible colleague Christina Mallon.I hope this is the start of inclusive design thinking at scale. Because inclusive design leads to better design for everyone.”