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Good Campaign of the Week: Ad Council “Jacob’s Story”

Good Campaign of the Week is a regular feature that celebrates creative social good campaigns. Each Monday, together with Branding Magazine, we highlight a new project from across the globe that demonstrates a positive social message with innovation at its heart – showcasing the brands and businesses using creativity to do well by doing good. 

Ad Council

The effects of autism can be hard to comprehend, but this new animation uses a magical world to bring to life the challenges autistic people encounter every day.

The Ad Council’s campaign, by BBDO NY, brings the story of an autistic child, Jacob Sanchez, to life. “Jacob’s Story” urges viewers to visit the Autism Speaks site to understand what to do if a child is showing symptoms.

The world Jacob inhabits brings visual richness to the symptoms of autism. Bug-eyed monsters, dark forests, and unexpected waves all represent the way an autistic child might see the world. The magical land is peppered with real-life references — traffic lights, street lights, and post boxes remind us that fantasy and reality are not so far apart. It’s a charming story, lovingly crafted; rather than trying to wow us with bells and whistles, it’s the little touches that leave an impression.

Watch the 'Signs of Autism - Jacob’s Story' Film Now

The film is a result of a collaboration of some of the finest craftspeople in the business. BBDO’s Greg Hahn and David Lubars are riding a wave of awards at the moment, Hahn having led the judges on the Writing for Advertising category at D&AD Professional Awards 2015. The animation was created by Brazil’s studio du jour Lobo, whose work includes ‘Wish You Were Here’, which has picked up awards in animation and advertising festivals worldwide.

Watch Lobo's D&AD 'Wish You Were Here' Film

From the animation, a series of posters have been released. Each features a statement from Jacob written in different scripts over scenes from the animation. Using the creative aspect of the animation, the print executions highlight individual elements of autism with copy at the bottom, reminding us that this is a complex issue. Radio, digital, and outdoor versions of the campaign will also be released.

Overall it’s a film that demands repeat viewing, as you spot more details each time. It’s also effective — by illustrating symptoms in this way they are memorable and understandable.

D&AD Impact seeks to identify and celebrate great, transformative ideas that contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all. If you think you have a campaign that makes a real and positive difference to the world then why not enter it into D&AD Impact.

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