Friday, September 9, 2016

#Maltesers tries mixing disability with humour, nails it

How interesting is this? Maltesers, a British candy brand, has taken the bold step of taking a humorous look at the lifestyles of people with disabilities in a new campaign for the Paralympics.

Instead of dewy-eyed homages to bravery and overcoming obstacles, these ads portray people with disabilities talking to their friends about real-life challenges like awkward sexual situations:

Another talks about a hearing aid being eaten and shat out by a partner's goofy dog:

Yet another is about a wedding dance floor disaster:

They're funny (the first one especially), respectful, and wonderfully human. They don't pretend the disabilities don't exist; they show instead that they are essential parts of the lives and identities of the people who live with them.

The other thing I like about these is that they're still ads. No product benefits (like taste) are mentioned, but the candies still play a big support role in these cute little vignettes.

And they're paying off! According to campaign, Britain's Channel 4 offered a million Pounds worth of free TV media during the Paralympics to the advertisers with "the best creative idea with diversity at the heart of a campaign."

Maltesers (a Mars brand) and its ad agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, were selected from a shortlist that included Amazon (Lucky Generals); Barclays (Bartle Bogle Hegarty London); Dove (Ogilvy & Mather); H&M (Adam & Eve/DDB); Lloyds Bank (Adam & Eve/DDB); Lynx (TMW Unlimited); and Purdey’s (Iris Worldwide).

My only criticism is of the third one, "Dance Floor," which seems a little forced at the end. But kudos to a brand and agency for trying something new with the right mix of bravery and sensitivity.

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