BBDO’s multi-brand spot aims to raise awareness for early autism detection, encouraging parents to look for early signs.
To raise awareness for that early detection and to mark World Autism Awareness month, agency BBDO New York and Autism Speaks have created a multi-brand commercial that urges parents to look for early signs.
But what makes this effort unusual is that the 60-second message is actually made up of four, stand-alone short commercials woven together in one seamless story.
At first, the spot, directed by Anonymous Content’s Christian Loubek, appears to be three separate ads that follow an Autism Speaks PSA. Band-Aid, Campbells and AT&T are the brands that feature. However the cohesive element in all the brand’s ads are that they show a young boy, whose autism was detected early, growing up and living a healthy life.
It begins with a family visit to a paediatrician, and then is followed by short commercials for clients like Campbell Soup Company and AT&T Wireless. As viewers watch the commercials, they will notice changes in the four-to-six-year span between each advertiser's spot.
The same parents appear in each commercial as the young boy grows up, interacting with his family in everyday situations involving these clients' products. The last story shows the young man in graduation gear with the copy reading, "You just saw how early diagnosis can make a lifetime of difference. Watch again or learn the signs at www.autismspeaks.org/signs."
"Autism affects around one in 68 children in the U.S. However, research reveals that with early diagnosis and early intervention, behavioural therapies can improve outcomes," says Andrew Robertson, President & CEO, BBDO Worldwide and a member of the Board of Autism Speaks.
“We were looking for a way to dramatically tell this story,” adds Greg Hahn, BBDO Chief Creative Officer. We found it through a partnership with our brilliant clients who eagerly embraced the convention-breaking, innovative spirit of the idea. The result is an ad that's like the Super Friends of public education messages."
The ad aired onetime on TV on Monday, April 28 on the CNN program New Day. It encouraged viewers to watch again and to learn the signs of autism, because early intervention can make a "Lifetime of Difference."
Thereafter, the message continues to live online on YouTube, where additional behind-the-scenes video will also be available for viewing. A digital extension is expected to run online courtesy of digital agency, Undertone.
The father in the commercials happens to be the real dad of Reece Bowen, the autistic teenage boy featured in the AT&T spot. They both give a short interview at the end of the spot.