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Is Saatchi Down Syndrome ad true or false?

Saatchi & Saatchi produces various ’cause’ campaigns, mostly outstandingly well.

Here’s its latest effort, #HowDoYouSeeMe, for last week’s World Down Syndrome Day, featuring actress Olivia Wilde as the embodiment of how AnnaRose, from New Jersey, who has Down Syndrome, sees herself.

AnnaRose is pretty capable, a full-time college student who works part time and participates in the Special Olympics. But she’s not as physically beautiful, in conventional terms anyway, as Ms Wilde. So the ad has been criticised in various quarters for being ‘ableist.’ Not quite sure what ableist means but you get the drift.

Think this is harsh. It’s a compelling piece of communication and most of us see ourselves in rather rosy terms. Here it’s used to make the point that people who look different are not.

MAA creative scale: 8.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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