Ad Nut
Mar 25, 2021

Can you predict the twist in this video about a friend-matching app?

A film from Contrapunto BBDO of Spain purports to be about an AI-powered friend-matching app, called Friend:DS. But something else is going on, and it's worth a watch.

Sometimes Ad Nut likes to show work from outside Asia, and sometimes Ad Nut likes to encourage you to watch the work before telling you anything about it, so Ad Nut tries to make it so the headline and first few sentences don't give away the game (see also, "Can you predict how this love story will end?").

In this case, both of these things are true: This piece of work is from Contrapunto BBDO of Spain, and you should watch it before going further.

This is your chance to watch it before you spoil it.

Have you watched it?

Ad Nut hopes you will have watched it by now.

Last chance to watch it!

Ok. 

So, the film is on behalf of an organisation called Down España. While the film—in the well-worn 'social experiment' genre—is, in Ad Nut's opinion, a bit cheesy and manipulative, it makes a really good point. While there's lots of discussion about how to support people with conditions like Down syndrome, that discussion seldom focuses on the radical idea that it might be a good idea to just get to know those people. That they're humans with interests and fears and victories and pain that they'd like to share. That they could even be friend material. 

The agency claims it worked with a company called Glassworks to develop a real app, called Friend:DS, but is silent on what future plans might be for that app. In a test, the agency says, volunteers verified that the application was 99% effective in connecting them with people who shared similar affinities.

As always, Ad Nut hopes that the agency is working with the organisation and the issue over the long term, not just as a one-off or in hopes of winning awards. But either way a great point has been made: When a single chromosome separates us, we still have a lot in common.

And you should take a moment to absorb this rather heartbreaking quote from Mateo San Segundo, president of Down España:

People with Down syndrome want to be like everybody else in society. That also means socialising, having fun, making friends. Up to the ages of 12 or 13 everything goes well, they have friends at school, they get invited to parties. But there comes a time when a distance begins to appear, us parents begin to notice that our children don’t get calls like before, the excuses begin and you realise that they’re really suffering. This continues into adulthood. It seems that their only possibility is to socialise with other people with Down syndrome. It’s a vicious circle from which it’s very difficult to get out, and that’s why this campaign is so necessary, because we as a society need to reflect on what’s happening, and make room for everyone.

The campaign launched Monday (March 22), which was World Down Syndrome Day. The film was slated to air pro bono on over 50 national, regional and local television channels.

CREDITS

Contrapunto BBDO
Executive creative director: Tomás Ferrándiz
Creative director: Eva Crespo
Art director: Alba Da Virgi
Copywriter: Alba Jordan
Director of strategy and communication: Bibiana Del Alcázar
Account supervisor: Bryan Chamadoira
Account executive: Júlia Xifra
Down España team: Beatriz Prieto and Marta de la Fuente
Production house: Blur Films
Directors: Marc Corominas and Gonzaga Echegaray
Executive producer: Laia Vidal
Producer: Olga Valiño
App development and postproduction: Glassworks

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.

 

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