The ‘Cerebral Palsy Alliance’ commissioned the below ad to raise attention to their mission of providing related resources for parents of children with CP. It seems the target audience is the greater community, and in particular parents, whom can identify with the trials the presented parents face and would hence want to support the cause.
Yet the ad has been criticised by both similar services and CP sufferers alike, claiming it is condescending and does little to challenge existing social stereotypes of those with CP. Not content to abide by chagrin alone a video response to help ‘make condescending tools a thing of the past’ has been posted by a group of CP sufferers themselves.
The original CPA Ad:
And the ‘No limits team’ response to the ad:
An alternative way to ‘move’ and engage audiences through video is offered by Scope Victoria:
Scope notes the recent TV advertisement by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and the angry reaction to it from people with disability and their families.
We appreciate the sincere intention of the NSW-based Cerebral Palsy Alliance. However, we believe that the ad takes the wrong line. Our concern is that it risks reinforcing negative stereotypes of people with cerebral palsy. While the issues they raise are important we believe there are better ways of getting the message across. Scope has previously run a TV advertising campaign based around the theme of “See the person”.
This international award winning ad aimed to challenge negative stereotypes to focus on the capabilities and potential of people with disability. We believe that this is always the better approach.
This is a timely example of just how entrenched video communication has become. No longer is the moving image dominated by advertisers and moguls shouting at a captive audience, it has become an accessible and living communication medium – provoking calls and responses to the issues creators care about. Indeed providing those most unheard with a voice.
It also speaks to the level of film literacy of the general populous; lowest common denominator messages are no longer viewed with benign disinterest, they are provoking responses shared and even referenced in articles such as this.
So when you’re next considering content for your initiative, consider – are you speaking down to or embiggening your audience?