Treating people who happen to have disabilities as people shouldn't be news, but unfortunately it is still a bit unusual.
Therefore Ad Nut cheers for these three Maltesers ads, done for Mars in the UK by AMV BBDO, because they have people in them who happen to have disabilities, but they are not about the disabilities—well, not exactly.
The disabilities play a role in each spot, but only as a plot device in a funny, somewhat risque, story. Rather than treating people with disabilities in an overly gentle, sensitive way, or playing the inspiration card, these ads simply show people telling stories. They have good friends. They have strong personalities. They have an active love life. They enjoy having a laugh. They like to eat a chocolate malted-milk ball or two.
Ad Nut looks forward to a day when this kind of advertising won't seem so remarkable.
Brittany Kiefer, an honorary Ad Nut at Campaign UK, has written two great articles that give a lot more detail about this campaign, and Ad Nut recommends both:
- Maltesers unveils winning ads in Channel 4's 'Superhumans' contest for Paralympics tells how the agency beat out tough competition to win free airtime from Channel 4 during during the opening ceremony of the Paralympics.
- Sex, chocolate and disability: What marketers can learn from Mars' Maltesers campaign digs into the creation of the campaign, with qoutes from the brand and the agency.
- And here's one more excellent story from Ad Nut's UK colleagues on this topic: The invisibles: Why are portrayals of disability so rare in advertising?
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