David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

THE UNIGNORABLE ADBREAK
18 September 2023

A coalition of Australian brands have teamed up with Special Group, The Glue Society and PHD to create the Shift 20 Initiative, which aims to increase disability representation onscreen. The movement is named as such because, despite receiving only 1% of screen time in ads, Aussies with disabilities make up 20% of the population.

The initiative took well-known commercials for the participating brands (McDonalds, Kia, Pantene, and many more) and re-shot them in order to include someone with a disability. The premise itself demystifies the thorny issue of 'representation' for brands: include people, it's just that simple.


It's an understated yet highly effective way of encouraging the audience to ask questions about representation. If changing a familiar ad to feature a disabled person doesn't alter its message, then why not do so in the first place? Some of the re-created spots are blink and you'll miss it subtle in their new form, like an ad for Uber which demonstrates how unremarkable inclusion can be.

In other cases, the reshoot makes a big change to the commercial itself - not to its message, but to the way it communicates with the audience. A cheeky outing for Bonds underwear, for example, uses Auslan in a way which grabs audience attention due to its relative lack of sound during a busy ad break... arguably making it more effective than its original cousin.


Lindsey Evans, partner at Special and board director at Advertising Council Australia, said of the campaign: "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 can all do better together - as an industry, as consumers and as brands."


This enlightening short documentary led by Dylan Alcott - whose eponymous foundation led the charge to bring the Shift 20 Initiative into being - further explores the process behind breathing life into a truly inclusive ad break. Much more than a stunt, this is a message to brands about just how easy it is to reflect people's real lives on screen, and will encourage them to diversify their casts accordingly.

News

BUSINESS/CLUB OPENS IN LONDON.

Scandi film production company Business/Club have opened a London frontier with Tom Berendsen at the helm.


ORPHANS

This a thread of unclaimed work which we'll include at DAVID REVIEWS just as soon as we have sufficient credits.


CHANNEL 4 ARE #POSITIVELYPURPLE.

Channel 4 mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities with #PositivelyPurple idents.


MIRANDA MAY JOINS KODE.

It's May in December for Kode, as director Miranda May joins for commercial and music video representation.


CHRISTMAS CATCH-UP

A mixture of first reactions and further analysis of the Christmas crop.


BLINKINK DOUBLE THEIR PLEASURE WITH ZACH TAVEL AND COLE KUSH.

Blinkink have scored a North American one-two with New York native Zach Tavel and Canadian Cole Kush signed for global representation.


IT'S KODE FOR TRUMAN & COOPER.

Anthony Jorge and Jonathan Cohen-Berry (aka Truman and Cooper) have joined Kode for UK representation.


BEN QUINN JOINS BIRTH IN THE UK AND FRANCE.

Director Ben Quinn has joined Birth for representation in France and the UK.


OB42 SIGN ALEXIS GÓMEZ.

Alexis Gomez sounds like a player DAVID picked for his fantasy football team, only for them to be ruled out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.


MIKKEL BLAABJERG PLUMPS FOR MAD COW FILMS.

Mad Cow Films have added Mikkel Blaabjerg to their roster for UK representation.


FRIEND LONDON PARTNER WITH LETHAL REPPIN.

Lethal Reppin, the talent agency founded by Lee Fairweather, have added Friend London to their roster.


THE BOOKER PRIZE CEREMONY FILMS

At last night's Booker Prize ceremony, each book was represented by a short reading.


FEEL FILMS SWOOP FOR PATRICE LIGHTER.

It may sound like a Cyndi Lauper song, but it’s true: Patrice Lighter just wants to have fun.


GUY GOOCH GOES TO STINK RISING.

Multidisciplinary artist Guy Gooch has joined Stink Rising for global representation.


SOFIE SAIETZ AND SIMONE WEILBORG ARRIVE AT 4CREATIVE.

4creative have added two talented Danes to their ranks: Sofie Saietz Bergstrand and Simone Weilborg.


MALIA JAMES HEADS TO OB42.

Fans of defunct American rock band the Dum Dum Girls will be pleased to know that former bassist Malia James has joined OB42 as a director.


BLIND DIRECTOR ADAM MORSE JOINS JOHNNY FOREIGNER

Given the difficulties of making progress in other areas of diversity, it's perhaps not surprising that even lass progress has been made when it comes to ensuring an equal opportunities approach when it comes to disability.


GORDON LINDSAY JOINS HUNKYDORY.

South African director Gordon Lindsay has joined HunkyDory for commercial representation.


FILM KLAXON: BRIDGE

In 2020, actor Gemma Barnett became a receptionist in a GP practice.


HOPE SOGNI HAS ENTERED THE BEAUTIFUL GAME.

Remember when Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, said that women should “pick the right battles” in the fight for equal pay? Hope Sogni does.


INTRODUCING... VANESSA STACHEL

While in Berlin for Ciclope, DAVID REVIEWS editor Jason Stone grabbed the chance to meet young German director Vanessa Stachel, who was recently added to the roster of Curly Films.


THE BTS THREAD

This thread includes all the BTS films that we come across and will be added to on a regular basis.


ANNEX SWOOP FOR SCOTT CARTHY.

Annex Films have completed the signing of Irish director Scott Carthy on a non-exclusive basis.


NHS BLOOD & TRANSPLANT DOLLS.

Children turned into dolls may sound like an idea for a horror movie, but it's how NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) aim to increase the number of child organ donors.


BANG TV SECURES CHRISTOPHER POOLE

Bang TV have persuaded Christopher Poole to join their carefully curated roster of directorial talent.


News

Address: Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.