McDonald’s, AAMI and Uber reshoot ads for Dylan Alcott Foundation’s disability inclusion initiative

Some of Australia’s biggest brands have re-shot commercials to include a person with disability, as part of the Shift 20 Initiative with the Dylan Alcott Foundation.

The ‘Unignorable Adbreak’ campaign in support of better disability representation in advertising features altered spots from ANZ, AAMI, Bonds, Kia, McDonald’s, Oral-B, NIB, Pantene, Uber and Weet-Bix.

Led by independent agency Special Australia, the Shift 20 Initiative is a coalition of leading brands with a focus on increasing disability representation, inclusion and accessibility in Australia’s advertising and media.

Mumbrella understands Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia’s next spots will join the initiative, and also have inclusive talent.

Special’s executive creative director, Ryan Fitzgerald, said: “When we first started talking to Dylan about the issue, we knew this couldn’t simply be an awareness job. We needed to do something bold that made a statement, and more importantly, created real change with a long-lasting impact.

“Changing out something that has already been and including a person with disability is a simple yet powerful way to highlight that people with disability can easily fill the same roles as anyone else,” Fitzgerald continued.

“Whether it’s changing the iconic face of a brand, brand representatives or simply the characters in the stories we tell, our industry is in a powerful position to send a message to 20% of Australia that, up until now, has gone largely unseen to say ‘we see you.’

He concluded: “Outside of the ‘Unignorable Adbreak’ the Shift 20 Initiative is a crucial part of ensuring long lasting change in this space. The organisation is designed to set the standard for what disability representation looks like and give others the tools and resources to make an impact.”

The majority of the re-shoots were led by Revolver, featuring both talent and crew with disability. There was also oversight from a variety of disability consultants and production partners including Bus Stop Films, a non-profit that provides better access for people with disability.

Dylan Alcott, founder of the Dylan Alcott foundation, commented: “One of the coolest things about working with the amazing brands who have joined the initiative is seeing them learn and grow from listening to the lived experience of people with disability.

“From previous conversations we’ve had with brands, we know that whilst they want to include people with disability in their ads, they are sometimes scared they’ll get it wrong – so they don’t. Getting it wrong is ok. It starts conversations, so you can get it right and can be more inclusive and accessible for everyone – including people with disability.

“The tides are turning and the time for brands to get involved is now,” Alcott added.

The Glue Society was a key creative partner in the campaign, working closely with Special to form a clever and restrained production approach that allowed the brands’ spots to have maximum effect. Another key partner was Rumble Studios, working across a number of the revised spots.

PHD also worked on the initiative, collaborating with all the brands’ media agencies.

Lindsey Evans, partner at Special and board director at the Advertising Council Australia, said: “The support from the industry has been instrumental to launching this initiative. This is about sharing and educating the wider industry as to the massive commercial and cultural opportunity of having representation of the whole population.

“We hope more brands see this and want to get involved. We have learnt so much from Dylan, the talent and production partners. We can all do better together – as an industry, as consumers and as brands.”

PHD Melbourne’s managing director, Simon Lawson, added: “The widespread support from the media owners across Australia has been incredible, quite simply, we’ve never seen collaboration at this scale, leading to a world-first media approach. It really underscores the importance of this issue. It’s been a privilege to be involved in this initiative on behalf of PHD and OMG.”

The initiative includes a dedicated website that has been built for awareness and to give brands access to best practice resources.

The campaign is rolling out across TV, OOH, cinema, earned media, social and digital, with all assets being produced to be truly accessible.

Other assets:
AAMI spot
McDonald’s spot
Weet-Bix spot
Kia spot
NIB spot
Oral-B spot
Uber spot


Client: Dylan Alcott Foundation
Founder: Dylan Alcott OAM
General manager: Georgie Saggers
Board chair: Martin Alcott

Foundation partners:
Tourism Australia
Virgin Australia

Creative and PR agency: Special Australia
Partner/CEO: Lindsey Evans
Partners/CCO: Julian Schreiber & Tom Martin
Partner/CSO: Bec Stambanis
Partner/CSO: Dave Hartmann
Executive creative director: Ryan Fitzgerald
Creative director/creative: Adam Ferrie
Creative director/creative: Peter Cvetkovski
Copywriter: Shaun McFarlane
Art director: Bella Plush
Managing director, Melbourne: Sarah Raine
Managing director, Special PR: Alex Bryant
Senior business director: Felicity Touzeau
Business director: Priya Addams Williams
Business director: Nick Darrigan
Creative strategist: Kate Wilkinson
Head of film & content production (Syd): Sevda Cemo
Head of film & content production (Melb): Sophie Simmons
Lead producer: Charlotte Wren
Head of stills production: Nick Lilley
Director, digital: James Simmons
Digital producer: Gigi Song
Head of design: Adam Shear
Designer: Sarah Ristevski
Designer: Maggie Webster
Finished art: John Rivera
Comms strategy director: Georgia Thomas

Production company: Revolver
Directing collective: The Glue Society
Director: Alice Cogin
Managing director/co-owner: Michael Ritchie
Executive producer/partner: Pip Smart
Executive producer: Jasmin Helliar
Producer: Max Horn
Cinematographer: Dale Bremner

BTS cast: 
Rae Pastuszak – NIB
Nathan Borg – Bonds
Sara Shams – ANZ
Mia Adams – McDonald’s
Basketball NSW – Kia
Eva Kalpidis – Weet-Bix
Adam Bowes – Uber
Lara Nakhle – AAMI

BTS film production: 
Production company: Revolver
Directing collective: The Glue Society
Directors: Alice Cogin, Pete Baker & Jonathan Kneebone
DOP: Will Robertson & Matt Maule
Post production: The Glue Society Studios
Editor: Luke Crethar
Colourist: Scott Stirling

Disability production consultants and crew: Bus Stop Films
CEO: Tracey Corbin-Matchett OAM
COO: Dianna La Grassa
General manager Bus Stop Employment: Sarah-Jane Johnson
Director’s assistant: Nathan Tsui
Lighting: Jack Small
BTS attachment: Juddy Dodd
Directors attachment: Conor Brannerly
HMU attachment: Emily Skerri-Rickert

Auslan consultants and intepreters:
Deaf consultant: Sue Jo Wright
Auslan support services: Sign Hear
Interpreter: Will Tapp
Interpreter: Samantha Rutherford
Interpreter: Joshua Ophel

Stills production:
Photographer: Josh Robenstone
Producer: The ARTL-NE / Amy Henderson
Digital assistant: Alexander Cooke
Retouching: Visual Thing

TVC post-production: HECKLER
Post House: HECKLER
Editor: Andrew Holmes
Post producer: Coralie Tapper
Colourist: Matt Fezz
Flame operator: Julian Ford
Compositor: Drew Downes and Nitin Amin

Executive producer: Michael Gie
Producer: Siena Mascheretti
Sound engineers: Tone Aston & Cam Milne

BTS music: Composer: Guy Brown

Brand BTS: Post house: MANIMAL

Casting: Natalie Jane Harvie, Citizen Jane Casting (Bonds, ANZ, Uber)

Media agency: PHD Australia
Managing director: Simon Lawson
Business director: Joey Graham
Account executive: Ben Williams
SEO: James Hanley
Programmatic: Jethro Pacquing & Riana Adams
Omnicom Media Group: Chief executive officer: Peter Horgan

Research and insights: TRA


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