Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



Telecommunications company Optus has announced it will launch the world’s first TikTok sign-language activated filter.

Featuring Optus ambassador Ian Thorpe, Optus will unveil a branded effect that shows TikTok users how to say key phrases in Auslan sign language, including ‘How are you?’ and ‘It starts with Yes’, through the hashtag challenge #SignYes.

Optus will amplify the campaign during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Utilising ambassadors such as Paralympians Ellie Cole and Nic Beveridge, Australia’s greatest ever Olympian of all time, Ian Thorpe and Optus’ chief of optimism, Daniel Ricciardo (see below).

Optus’s head of marketing, Mel Hopkins, said: “Building off the impact of educational content in Australia, as well as the success of causal content on TikTok, we believe there is potential in developing a hashtag challenge that teaches Australians rudimentary sign language.

“Communication comes in a variety of forms. Illustrating this to all Australians we believe is important in an optimistic and everyday way.

“#SignYes delivers on unique customer connections allowing customers to demonstrate how inclusion and education starts with ‘Yes’.”

Optus brand ambassador, Ian Thorpe, said: “Recent studies suggest that 1 in 6 people in Australia are deaf or hard of hearing but despite this, barely any of us can use sign language.

“Optus wants to inspire change and have created the world’s first TikTok sign language activated filter that I am proud to be a part of.”

Brett Armstrong, general manager of TikTok global business solutions, Australia and New Zealand, said: “Optus has been one of our most innovative partners, the first to run a branded hashtag challenge in Australia and now launching this cutting edge campaign.

“TikTok is a place where diverse communities thrive and everyone can feel welcome, and it’s exciting to see Optus leaning in so creatively to what makes our platform so special.”

To join the Optus #SignYes hashtag challenge, search the ‘SignYes’ Hashtag in the Discovery tab on the TikTok app or search for the ‘SignYes’ lens when going to record your video.




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    1. As a Deaf person, I am shocked by this campaign. Where is the Deaf consultancy? Where is the Deaf representation? You are using Auslan (and are incorrectly calling it broadly as Sign Language) the language of the Deaf community and have not highlighted them. It is their language.

      Auslan is the language of the Australian Deaf community. Another way to think about it would be to think of a native indigenous language. If this campaign was using your ambassadors to encourage people to ‘say yes’ in a native indigenous language (that they don’t use or know how to), would it be suitable? No, it wouldn’t and imagine that backlash.

      I sincerly hope this campaign is reconsidered. As a Deaf professional working in Marketing and Engagement, I can see what Optus was trying to achieve but it has missed the mark unknowingly.

Brett Armstrong Mel Hopkins Optus Signyes TikTok

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