Shell’s Campaign Shows Us How Silence Can Be A Form Of Communication

The art of communication is not what the speaker says, it’s what the receiver understands. And in most cases, the saying ‘actions speak louder than words’ undeniably holds true. 

Shell’s latest campaign is a testament to this, bringing a powerful message to life – all without the use of a single word or dialogue. 

‘The Silent Shift’ is a remarkable initiative to bring about a change in mindset and empower differently abled individuals to grow and excel in mainstream society. The campaign stood out to us for all the right reasons: 

The background 

Shell aspires to be one of the most inclusive workplaces in the world and they bring that philosophy to life even at their service stations. Across their network, the brand employs over 500 differently abled frontline staff.

With an aim to fully realize their potential and shatter preconceived notions, Shell crafted a truly unique and immensely thoughtful initiative. We found this campaign to be one of the most potent ones to emerge from the International Day of Persons with Disabilities Week: 

The Silent Shift 

The retailer took time out everyday for couple of weeks and trained 2 staff members who are hearing and speech impaired. The aim was to train them to take up more tasks and duties and make them independent individuals who could handle all operations themselves. 

In order to communicate with customers, the staff were given tools and aids to write down the fuel grade and amount during protocols.

Moreover, these employees were instructed via videos about the health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) protocols, and used placards to inform customers about the available add-on services. 

What started out as an experiment, soon began to look like a promising reality for the future of operations at Shell. Within 4 months, the retailer hired 8 differently abled employees who picked up more roles and responsibilities across shifts – confidently, effectively, and silently. 

Making an impact 

Shell identified a gap in the market, highlighted the reality of the differently abled workforce in society today, and set out to bring about a change. 

Customers and netizens have lauded this effort, acknowledging the need and importance for brands like Shell to take such impactful steps and steer society in the right direction.

Breaking away from the clutter of superficial campaigns, the brand amplified these empowering employee journeys to encourage a new narrative and shift in mindset. With the cooperation and encouragement of customers, the campaign truly made a difference and that’s really what made the whole initiative a success.

Even without a single dialogue, the message was loud and clear!