The word ‘Retard’ appears on Twitter every five seconds. And it’s used all over social media, film and television. Yet the word is offensive, not just to people with intellectual and physical disability, but to their friends, families and carers.

Unfortunately, many users of the word are unaware of the impact that the word has. Avivo supply health care to elderly and disabled clients across Western Australia and felt there was an opportunity to do the right thing for the people they support by raising awareness around the word.


We created a Twitter bot which detected when anyone use the word ‘Retard’ or ‘Retarded’. Then the bot automatically replied to them with a single Tweet - a video from someone affected by the R word, talking directly to the person who just used it.

Recipients were directed to the R word website, where they could learn more about what the word means to others, get to know the person behind their video message, and learn more about our client, Avivo – a leading not-for-profit home care services provider, working with people with intellectual and physical disabilities in their homes and communities.


  • 62% of recipients watched their video message.
  • 30 Countries engaged around the globe
  • $200,000+ of earned media on day one, with national TV, radio and online coverage.
  • 10,363 direct video messages viewed in week one

Marketforce is owned by Clemenger BBDO and is a part of the BBDO network the world’s leading advertising group.

This means that from our sunny location in Perth we have access to hundreds of specialist affiliates in the network from across Australia and the globe.

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