One in 160 children the world over has an autism spectrum disorder, according to the World Health Organisation. A new campaign by Greynj United in Thailand, which was released in time for World Autism Awareness Day 2018 (2 April), hopes to spread the message that children with autism are 'more special than others'.
The film, which was made at the Autistic Thai Foundation in Bangkok, takes surface-level observations about the daily lives of autistic children—that they appear to live in their own worlds, struggle to make eye contact and repeat actions over and over—and spins them around, showing the viewer that these qualities should in fact be treasured because they set these children apart.
Young people with autism have high concentration skills, are detail-orientated and have boundless imaginations, the film says. They 'see what others do not see'. They're also not mean, envious or pretentious, nor do they lie or gossip.
The Thai communications conglomerate True Corporations is the brand behind the ad, which was produced in partnership with the Autistic Thai Foundation. True has made significant investments in this area; it recently set up an occupation training programme that helps around 1,000 people with autism at centres in 20 provinces across the country. Projects include providing tablets equipped with specialist apps for people with autism. Since 1994, True itself has also offered jobs for the disabled.
Campaign's view: We like the way the spot takes its time to get across its message, which is not necessarily a simple one to deliver. There are no six-second assaults on the senses here; the ad is a full four minutes long, which gives the camera time to linger on each child and present the various truths about what it means to be autistic, in a measured way.
The reception has been overwhelmingly positive thus far, with over half a million views of the ad on YouTube since World Autism Awareness Day.
Creative Chairwoman - Jureeporn Thaidumrong
Managing Director - Kanaporn Hutcheson
Executive Creative Director - Asawin Phanichwatana
Creative Director - Thanyaluck Pongacha
Creative Group Head - Siravich Chatchaiganan
Senior Copywriter - Chanikarn Sitthiaree
Copywriter - Sorrasak Thummakosol, Shanya Jiwachotkamjorn, Warumpa Laoprasert, Arthima Iam-athikom
Art Director - Vanalee Krairavee
Account Management - Kanokkorn Seehapan, Nantida Tansawai, Naphat Ruenpanich
Production Director - Kanoksak Kanchanachutha
Junior Producer -Thanyaporn Damprasert
Creative Support - Juthamas Tantated
Production House: PHENOMENA
Film Director - Thanonchai Sornsriwichai
Co-Film Director - Prateep Pinta
Film Producer - Sumalee Tantrapongsaton, Wilasinee Phuakdech
Assistant Film Director - Korkiat Tripattansuwan
DOP - Thanapol luangprasert, Sopon Keawpaluek
Production Manager - Kitsiri Karunanon
Post Producer - Ponsuda Piyarattanapong
Editor - Songsak Visittipackdeekun
Colorist - Sarayouth Phuksawattanachai
Flame Artist - Pitipol Yuenboon
Composer - Chumpol Sepsawasdi
Sound Studio - Cine Digital Sound Studio Co.,Ltd.
Other Post-Production Credits - Matad Co.,Ltd. , Edittide Co.,Ltd