Mars launched a one-off special build billboard in London this week to mark World Braille Day (January 4). The advert is part of its ambition to use the company's Maltesers brand to champion greater inclusivity in advertising and communications, and better represent disability in media. The new ad, created by AMV BBDO, takes the form of a poster constructed entirely from Braille; a tactile writing system used by people who are visually impaired, with the dots formed from model-made Maltesers. Underlining the inclusivity message, the advert will be accessible for all through a combination of audio description and a translation hosted on the Maltesers UK Facebook page.
Michele Oliver, VP of Marketing at Mars Chocolate UK, said: “As one of the UK’s biggest advertisers, we have a responsibility and a role to play in championing greater inclusivity in our advertising and communications. Maltesers is the brand that looks on the light side of life and this scenario is just one example of the real-life, everyday experiences of people affected by sight loss; and in this case from Michelle in Glasgow. This small-scale activation is a natural next step in our ambition to get closer to our consumers; by normalising disability in advertising and communications, and using humour to challenge preconceptions.”
This is the latest creative in the “Look on the Light Side” campaign, which saw three TV adverts featuring disability debut during the opening ceremony of the Channel 4 Paralympic Games last year, including the first ever TV ad to air entirely in sign language. The adverts, inspired by real-life stories, celebrated a universally awkward situation from a disabled person’s perspective. Inspired by a real-life story from a focus group led by Maltesers and Scope; the UK’s disability charity, the new billboard celebrates the lighter moments in the lives of those who live with a visual impairment. The media agency of the campaign was Mediacom and production of the billboard itself was courtesy of 3D Models.
Danielle Wootton, Head of Marketing at Scope, added: “This is a brilliant initiative from Maltesers. Disabled people often tell us they rarely see their lives reflected in advertising campaigns and the media and that mainstream advertising remains inaccessible - this innovative billboard challenges both issues. We are also delighted that Maltesers have continued their campaign to shine a light on the awkwardness that all too often surrounds disability. Scope’s own research shows that half of the British public don’t personally know anyone disabled and two-thirds of people admit to feeling awkward about disability. Campaigns like these are vital in helping to overcome this awkwardness and ensuring that disabled people are more visible in the media and public life.”