UK – Maltesers is taking a nuanced approach to disability in its new series of light-hearted anecdotal adverts.
The ads feature three young disabled women who recount awkward romantic encounters, using Maltesers as props. The tone of the shorts is light-hearted yet honest, with one woman describing how her boyfriend’s new dog had accidently eaten her hearing aid.
The Channel 4 initiative, Superhumans Wanted, was launched earlier this year to encourage diversity among advertisers. The broadcaster has dedicated this year to promoting disability within its editorial content, but this marks the first time it has extended its influence into commercial airtime.
Until 2012, when Channel 4 launched its Superhuman campaign for the Paralympics, disability in advertising was virtually non-existent. Since then brands such as Smirnoff, which featured D/deaf dancer Chris Fonseca, and Guinness, whose 2013 ad starred wheelchair basketball players, have sought to become more inclusive.
Brands are moving towards a more inclusive style of advertising in which the focus is on the individual rather than on traditional identity-markers, such as gender, disability and race. For more, see our Neutral Culture macrotrend.