One of the best ways to spread awareness of a cause is by advertising, obviously. It’s important to remember, though, that the way you advertise can make a strong point while spreading awareness.
March 21 marks World Down Syndrome Day, an annual event born 10 years ago in support of integrating people with Down Syndrome into everyday life. In order to get the word out this year, and make a point, the event’s flagship organization CoorDown and agency Saatchi & Saatchi Italy have come up with a clever way to remind everyone of all that people with Down Syndrome can do: by putting them front and center in recreations of recent ads.
The new versions of international TV and print campaigns feature actors with Down Syndrome in place of the original actors and models. Participating brands involved include Pampers, Toyota, and a host of others. Additionally, as part of the globe-spanning effort, people with Down Syndrome will also appear as guests on popular Italian TV shows throughout the week.
This no-big-deal integration of Down Syndrome actors into advertising is meant to encourage their ongoing integration into society at large. The examples here might have more resonance were they better-known spots, but the idea comes through. A few U.S. brands have more visibly embraced this kind of diversity lately, unprompted and without banging the PR drum about it--most notably Target and Nordstrom.
Watch alternate versions of the Pampers and Toyota ads in full below.