Many of the world’s most powerful ads have presented a piece of obvious, but overlooked, logic in a way that hasn’t been seen before and is slightly humorous.
Publicis New York’s PSA, #notspecialneeds, for Coordown, Italy’s national organisation for people with Down syndrome, is an exceptionally good example of this.
It’s also a whole lot more. It has heart. Remarkable performances. And a touch of wacky. It’s arresting, memorable and compelling in every way an ad like this can be.
And it achieves its aim of making people aware that the needs of those with Down Syndrome are the human needs – “education, jobs, opportunities, friends and some love.” Just like everybody else’s.
The film was directed by Hungry Man’s master of comedy, Wayne McClammy (the director behind so many of Geico’s awarded campaigns)
It stars Lauren Potter, the actress with Down syndrome who played the role of Becky Jackson in Glee. John McGinley, best known for his role as Dr Perry Cox on Scrubs, also has a role. His 18-year old son Max has Down syndrome.
Other cast members are Sam Suchmann and Mattie Zufelt, who also have Down syndrome. They created the movie, Spring Break Zombie Massacre. And Jared Kozak, an actor with Down syndrome known for Orson’s Last Dance, Leader of the Pack and Teens Wanna Know.
The campaign film, which is running on YouTube, directs viewers to the campaign website, where they can find out more about the real needs of people with Down Syndrome.
It will also be presented to the World Down Syndrome Day Conference in New York on March 21, at the headquarters of the United Nations.
Agency: Publicis New York
Chief creative officer: Andy Bird
Executive creative directors: Luca Pannese & Luca Lorenzini
Copywriter: David Green
Art Director: Jen Wang
Director of integrated productions: Tim Ayers
Senior integrated producer: Jakub Popadiuk
Chief production officer: Lisa Bifulco
Agency producer: Chris Muldoon
Agency editor: Marc Legana
Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Wayne McClammy
Executive producer & managing partner: Kevin Byrne
Editing: Rock Paper Scissors
VFX & post production: Shed LA