Ad Nut
Jun 8, 2018

Confrontational campaign asks, 'Who are the real retards?'

Work from Sweden tries to make people question use of the 'R-word'.

Confrontational campaign asks, 'Who are the real retards?'

Groups that face discrimination often find a powerful tool in recontextualising the very words that others use against them. Just think, 'We're here and we're queer', for example. 

A recent campaign by Swedish agency Stendahls for GIL, an organisation that fights on behalf of people with disabilities, has attempted to do something similar with the offensive term 'retard'.

The work takes truly offensive statements made by supposedly "normal" people (many of them people in positions of power) and puts them into the mouths of people with intellectual disabilities. The defiant and pertinent question: 'Who are the real retards?'

The agency said the point is not only to highlight how offensive and discriminatory the word is, but also to show that having an intellectual disability isn't the same thing as being stupid.

The video below is a case study clip by the agency, but the Instagram account @saidbyretards, where you can find out who actually said such horrible and stupid things, is the heart of the campaign. Ad Nut encourages you to check it out, even if you'd never think of using the R-word yourself. 


Advertising Agency: Stendahls, Sweden
Chief Creative Officer: Martin Cedergren
Copywriter: Mikael Andersson
Art Director: Josefin Thor
Account Director: Jens Flensburg
Strategy, Andreas Gunberg
Planner, Tommy Carlsson
Research, Vanja Johansson
PR Strategy, Linda Fernell
Production Manager: Anna Lotto, Linda Engström
Film Photogragher: Jens Dohnberg, Sara Josefsson
Post Production, Jakob Knutsson, Cutback 
Photographer, Markus Holm, AmplifyPhoto

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