Do People With Down Syndrome Have 'Special Needs'? A Hilarious PSA Explores the Euphemism

Wayne McClammy Directs the Humorous Film for CoorDown With a Serious Message

Published On
Mar 16, 2017

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CoorDown, Italy's national organization for people with Down syndrome, examines the euphemistic term "special needs" in its latest PSA, using humor to highlight how their needs might not be so different from those of anyone else.

A film by Publicis New York, directed by Wayne McClammy of Hungry Man, imagines various humorous scenarios where Down syndrome people have "special needs" with a twist. They're massaged by a cat, they eat dinosaur eggs, are woken up by a celebrity or have to walk around in a giant suit of armour. It ends with the message that what people with Down Syndrome really needs is "education, jobs, opportunities, friends and some love."

The film stars Lauren Potter, the actress with Down syndrome who played the role of Becky Jackson in "Glee," and John McGinley, best known for his role as Dr. Perry Cox on "Scrubs," and whose 18-year old son Max has Down syndrome. Also in the cast are Sam Suchmann and Mattie Zufelt, two friends with Down syndrome who created the movie "Spring Break Zombie Massacre," and Jared Kozak, an actor with Down syndrome known for "Orson's Last Dance," "Leader of the Pack" and "Teens Wanna Know."

The campaign, running on YouTube, directs viewers online to, where they can find out more about the real needs of people with Down Syndrome.

It will be presented to the Conference of the World Down Syndrome Day, which takes place March 21 in New York, at the headquarters of the United Nations.


Mar 16, 2017
Brand :
Client :
Agency :
Publicis-New York
Director :
Wayne McClammy
Chief Creative Officer :
Andy Bird
Executive Creative Director :
Luca Pannese
Executive Creative Director :
Luca Lorenzini
Copywriter :
David Green
Art Director :
Jen Wang
Director, Integrated Production :
Tim Ayers
Senior Integrated Producer :
Jakub Popadiuk
Lead Art Director Tech Developer :
Scott Jones
Interactive Developer :
Dara Mao
Chief Production Officer :
Lisa Bifulco
Agency Producer :
Chris Muldoon
Agency Editor :
Marc Legana
Production Company :
Hungry Man
Managing Partner, Executive Producer :
Kevin Byrne
Puppet Production :
Legacy Effects
Editorial Company :
Rock Paper Scissors
Executive Producer :
Rana Martin
Executive Producer :
Eve Kornblum
Editor :
Christjan Jordan
Assistant Editor :
Pieter Viljoen
Producer :
Dani DuHadway
Visual Effects/Post :
Shed LA
Color :
Billy Hobson
Visual Effects :
Paul O'Shea
Visual Effects :
Miles Essmiller
Visual Effects :
Phil Man
Music Producer :
Rachel Rauch
Music :
Beacon Street Studios
Composer :
Andrew Feltenstein
Composer :
John Nau
Executive Producer :
Leslie DiLullo
Senior Producer :
Kate Vadnais
Mix/Sound Design :
Rommel Molina
Mix Assistant :
Vivi Rojas

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