Short List
Category A01. Fiction & Non-Fiction Films up to 5 minutes
Idea Creation IRIS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Name Company Position
Henry Scotland Iris Executive Creative Director
Rachid Ahouiyek Iris Executive Creative Director
Michael Hanney Iris Executive Producer
Charlie Parker Iris Creative
Jonny Marsh Iris Creative
Nadia Black Iris Producer
Theo Jenkins Iris Senior Account Director
Lottie Tonks Iris Account Manager
Shion Hayasaka Somesuch Producer
Rollo Jackson Somesuch Director
Ryan Boucher Whitehouse Post Editor
Luke Morrison Electric Theatre Collective Grade
Gary Turnbull Grand Central Recording Studios Sound Engineer
Antonia Vlasto Electric Theatre Collective Post Producer
Ciara Wakley Electric Theatre Collective Sound Producer

Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?

This short film opens up the conversation about identity in the UK at a time when increasing intolerance is creating deep divides in society. With hate crime increasing and specific attacks against the Trans community up 81% it was time to generate greater empathy in Britain. Winner of the Channel 4 Diversity award, 'What's your name?' shows the experience of a trans man being misgendered and dead named. Although a fictional story, the core character is played by a trans actor and all moments in the film are based on authentic stories from the trans community.


Starbucks has a long-standing history of driving forward gender equality. A constant supporter of PRIDE, Starbucks also offers transgender staff in the U.S. health cover for transition surgeries whilst also soliciting the police to create ‘safe places’ for the LGBT+ community in their stores. Whilst this epitomised the progressive spirit of the brand, Starbucks’ efforts were lesser known in the U.K. At a time of socio-political turmoil, with the LGBT+ community experiencing the sharp end of division and hate crime, Starbucks saw a chance to re-ignite their values and lead the change in an area that needed it most. Creating a platform together with the transgender community and shining a light on their personal journeys of identity and acceptance, we set out to achieve two things: 1. Drive positive impact and change for the transgender community and 2. Re-invigorate Starbucks as a symbol of progress it always was.

Describe the creative idea

‘What’s your name?’ is about the signature Starbucks act of writing your name on your cup; an everyday gesture many of us take for granted, but which can be a significant act of acceptance for transgender people on a journey of self-identity. The film tells the story of a young trans man facing the everyday challenge of repeatedly being called a name he doesn’t identify with – even by family. It culminates with him trying out his chosen name for the first time at a Starbucks store, by asking to have the name James written on a cup, which is called out by a barista.

Describe the strategy

Our names are important statements of identity. Most are proud of the names given to them and pleased to hear it when said. However for the transgender community, birth names that represent a gender they do not identify with can bring with it a real sense of uneasiness and even trauma. 'Deadnaming' is a common phenomenon where birth names are incorrectly used instead of chosen names. Official records are difficult to change and so are habits, therefore official environments and even being amongst friends and family can bring about situations of deadnaming. Whilst most may take the Starbucks experience of name-taking for granted, this simple act of recognition was actually having a profound impact on the transgender community. We discovered, there were common instances of Starbucks being the place of choice to try out chosen names and hear their name being embraced in a safe environment, in the wider world.

Describe the execution

We worked in partnership with the charity Mermaids who provide support to Transgender young people and their families. Mermaids advised and had input throughout the creative process to ensure the authenticity of the films.The film was released on social platforms YouTube and Facebook. It broke on 10th February 2020. Although created in the UK word spread across 20+ markets as it struck a chord with the trans community and its allies around the globe. Winner of the Channel 4 Diversity award it shifted the conversation around identity and fostered greater understanding across the UK and beyond.

Describe the outcome

Within 4 days of launch there were 210 global media mentions (99% positive) and potential social media reach was 135.8 million. Importantly, the positive response from the transgender community validated the cause was just and handled with integrity. Consumer engagement on Twitter & Facebook a week before the campaign was at 1,898 but increased to 4,045 during the first week of launch with a 7% increase in positive sentiment. TV viewing completion rates hit 97.75% against an industry benchmark of 63.10%. The ultimate intent was to offer real support; sales of the special Mermaids cookie are ongoing but will raise a minimum of £100,000 for the Mermaids charity, funding an extension of their helpline hours for 1 year+. The cookie sold out in the first week with production needing to be increased (48,000 sold in the first 2 weeks) and the helpline received 6X increase in calls in the week.