Imogen Watson
Apr 3, 2024

‘More than just clothes’: Vanish builds on autism awareness work

Havas London created the campaign, which coincides with the beginning of World Autism Acceptance Month.

‘More than just clothes’: Vanish builds on autism awareness work

Reckitt’s stain-removal brand Vanish is building on its autism awareness drive with its More Than Just Clothes project. The project invites the UK public to pledge to support the clothing needs of autistic people. 

The campaign is led by research by Vanish and the charity Ambitious About Autism, which found 70% of autistic people think their lives would improve if people understood why clothes are so important to them.

The project, created in partnership with Ambitious About Autism, is also designed to drive behavioural change by deepening the public’s understanding of the significance of clothes to autistic people. 

The More Than Just Clothes Pledge is designed to equip the general public and key decision-makers in schools, businesses, sports clubs and event venues with the necessary information to help autistic people with their clothing needs. 

It is supported by an online educational tool The More Than Just Clothes Pledge Book, based on autistic people's stories and experiences. 

The campaign is led by two documentary-style films which feature two autistic teens, Cozzie and Lani, who describe their relationship with a clothing item.

The films both use animation to illustrate how each girl feels when they wear their favourite garment. 

Havas London partnered with directing duo the Tubby Brothers (through Tubby Brother Films) and animation director Jeanette Nørgaard (through Strange Beast) for the films.

The project was created by Stephen Lynch, Ben Clapp and Hollie Iles. 

Elise Cockley, marketing director UK and Ireland at Reckitt, said: “The project aims to highlight the importance of clothes in the daily lives of autistic teens by showcasing the power of their favourite garments. 

“As a brand focused on driving clothing longevity, we aim to deliver the best laundry care to everyone, especially to communities to whom making clothes live longer really matters. With our creative and charity partners, we are so excited to share stories of two autistic girls, in their words, to make the clothing needs of autistic people seen and heard while encouraging everyone to become an ally and advocate to champion change.”

Zenith handled the media buying and planning. 

Vanish and Havas London also highlighted the gender gap in autism diagnoses last March with “Me, my autism and I” – the winner of Channel 4’s seventh annual Diversity in Advertising Award. 

The docudrama, shot by Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper through Smuggler, told the story of a real-life autistic girl and the visceral importance of her hoodie. 

Kate Pozzi, creative director of Havas London, said: “We’re so proud to work with Vanish and Ambitious about Autism for the second year running. The More Than Just Clothes project highlights autistic girls’ stories in their own words. Cozzie and Lani beautifully share why their clothes matter and how they help them."



Campaign UK

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