Maltesers, the Mars-owned chocolate brand, has launched a set of humorous ads in which disabled people take the lead roles telling funny stories abuot their lives. The ads will run during the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on U.K. television on Sept. 7..
The ads were developed in response to Channel 4's "Superhumans Wanted," a competition held by the Paralympic broadcaster, which itself is known for its groundbreaking "Superhumans" campaigns for the Paralympics. Mars Chocolate U.K. and creative agency AMV BBDO won one million pounds worth ($1.34 million) of the broadcaster's commercial airtime for developing a "bold, creative idea which puts disability and diversity at the heart of their campaign."
All three executions are all based on real-life stories from disabled people. One, seen here, concerns a woman in a wheelchair who ran over someone's foot at a wedding. In another, a disabled woman laughs with a friend about an embarrassing moment with her new boyfriend and in another, a deaf woman explains in sign language how a friend's dog swallowed her hearing aid. The ads were directed by Clay Weiner at Biscuit Filmworks.
Cat Collins, strategy partner at AMV BBDO, explained in a statement: "Rather than creating distance by putting disabled people on a pedestal, we believed we could achieve more by showing disabled people simply as people. For Maltesers, that meant seeking out the hilarious stories from their lives that they look on the light side of, just as the characters in the rest of our campaign do. It meant using a powerful weapon to break down discomfort, division and prejudice -- a good laugh."
Jonathan Allan, sales director at Channel 4, added: "The calibre of competition entries demonstrated that the U.K. ad industry can be world-leading in improving representation of disability in advertising. We hope that Mars Chocolate and AMV's bold ambition for these cheeky ads using Maltesers signature format which TV viewers already love, will create a legacy for our Superhumans Wanted initiative, and alongside our latest Paralympics ad, encourage more brands and agencies to approach and cast their campaigns in new ways to make richly diverse ads the norm rather than the exception."