Campaign Spotlight

Campaign Spotlight: Spark and Colenso BBDO create a piece of code that rewrites the internet to see all genders

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — If you’ve never had to think about your gender, you probably haven’t realised how often you get gendered online. But for individuals identifying beyond the binary gender of male and female, it affects them every day.

“Often businesses default to asking for gender without considering why they need that information and how it might impact the people on the other end of the form. When trans and non-binary people are excluded, misgendered, or discriminated against during daily interactions with businesses, that contributes to an environment that is hostile to their wellbeing,” says Claire Black, GM of rainbow mental health organisation OutLine Aotearoa.

Beyond Binary Code addresses this with a single piece of code that can be added to your website.


Co-created with OutLine and non-binary communities, the code revises the way organisations collect gender data by updating website forms and fields with gender-inclusive options so everyone can feel seen.

But Beyond Binary Code is bigger than just code. It’s a full tool that helps businesses understand, first and foremost, whether they truly need to collect gender data from their customers at all. If they do, an HTML code is generated based on their unique business needs, so they can ask in an inclusive way.

Spark New Zealand Marketing Director Matt Bain says: “Beyond Binary Code intersects two key ambitions at Spark – helping Kiwis have a better relationship with their data, and to champion diversity and inclusion within Spark and Aotearoa.”

“Ultimately, through publishing the code, we want to encourage digital equity at an enterprise level. By influencing big data systems in businesses to evaluate whether they need to collect gender data at all and if it is required, that they do so in a way that helps people from all genders feel valued and visible online. In time and with the help of businesses adopting the code, we hope to build an internet with richer, more sophisticated datascapes that represent the true diversity of Aotearoa.”

The code comes with helpful materials to support businesses on their beyond binary journey, including guides on data privacy principles, how to get stakeholder buy-in, and how to create safer spaces both on and offline for their customers and employees.

“OutLine sees this code, and its supporting resources, as a catalyst for creating better experiences that support and affirm the wellbeing of both non-binary people and rainbow communities more broadly in Aotearoa,” Black continues.

Simon Vicars, CCO for Colenso BBDO says, “For lots of people, filling in an online form is a simple box-ticking exercise. But for people who identify beyond male or female, it can reinforce the feeling that society doesn’t acknowledge them. Beyond Binary Code has the power to rectify this – to help rewrite the internet to see more than two genders. We’re proud to finally see the idea out in the world and excited to see the difference it can make.”

Beyond Binary Code launched 21st February with a powerful film and digital campaign to support the website.

To join Spark and OutLine in their ambition to make the internet a more inclusive place for all, download the code for your own website at:

Client: Spark
Client: Caitlin Hayns, Senior Social Brand Partner
Client: Frith Wilson-Hughes, Brand Lead Partner
Partners: OutLine Aotearoa
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Production Company: FINCH
Director: Zia Mandviwalla
Managing Director: Corey Esse
Executive Producer: Bex Kelly
Producer: Duncan Bernard
DOP: Marty Williams
Editor: Julian Currin
Production Designer: Neville Stevenson
Post Production: Perceptual Engineering
Colourist: Pete Ritchie
Projections & Online: Jon Baxter
Music Composition: Cam Ballantyne, Beatworms
Sound Design: Liquid Studios
Sound Engineer: Craig Matuschka
Producer: Tamara O’Neill
Stills Photography: Lula Cucchiara
PR: Anthem

Partner with adobo Magazine

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