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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Trigger Point character audio descriptions

In 2022, ITV released a set of ‘character descriptions’ as part of the digital marketing for its new thriller Trigger Point

This short-form content, available on ITV’s YouTube channel and as an ITV Short on ITV Hub, provides physical descriptions of five main characters and is designed to complement and enhance the Audio Description (AD) service ITV provides during the programme itself. The concept was developed in conjunction with blind and visually impaired ITV viewers between 2020 and 2021, and is inspired by the audio introductions that precede live theatre performances.

This research underpinned a fruitful collaboration with the Marketing and Digital teams, who have committed to furthering the accessibility of their campaigns as a 2022 priority. As well as the character descriptions, the Trigger Point digital campaign also included an audio-described version of the main programme trailer, and elsewhere work is being carried out to improve the accessibility of marketing communications and to consistently employ alt-text descriptions in images on social media.

In the Trigger Point content, the main actors read out their own descriptions. As well as adding a degree of exclusivity to the content, this also gives blind users the chance to form a link between the character’s voice and their physical description. Similarly, while the content is audio led, the slideshow images that are used allow partially sighted users to recognise the characters’ faces. Subtitles are available and, on YouTube, a text transcript to cater for different users’ requirements.

The character descriptions are a useful way to give more space for physical description, without the time constraints describers face with regular AD. It’s also a vital support in ensuring ITV’s AD continues to convey a balanced picture of onscreen diversity. 

In 2020, ITV brought in a new editorial policy that placed a greater emphasis on describing visible diversity cues – if these aren’t included in AD, then blind and visually impaired audiences can’t appreciate progress or feel represented by the shows they’re watching.

These character descriptions support those aims, and having inclusivity and accessibility built into such a high-profile marketing campaign underlines the message that ITV is for everyone.

Check out the Trigger Point character descriptions on YouTube.

Read more about ITV’s research into audio-describing onscreen diversity.

If you want to hear more about Diversity & Inclusion at ITV, take a look at our Diversity Acceleration Plan results.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion