The R Word

More Work


The word ‘Retard’ appears on Twitter every 5 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.  We wanted to change that.


We created a Twitter bot to detect any English language use of the word ‘Retard’ or ‘Retarded’.  Then the bot automatically replied 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 our 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, who work with people with intellectual and physical disabilities in their homes and communities.


  • 62% of recipients watched their video message
  • Global engagement across 30 countries
  • $200,000+ of earned media on day one, with national TV, radio and online coverage
  • 10,363 direct video messages viewed in week one