Channel 4 to launch UK’s first sign language-only TV ad

Channel 4 to launch UK’s first sign language-only TV ad

Scottish Associaton for Language Teaching Channel 4 logo

Broadcaster to air competition winner Mars’s ads during Rio Paralympic Games opening ceremony coverage as part of campaign to promote diversity

Source: Mark Sweney, The Guardian, Sept 6, 2016.


Channel 4 is to air what is believed to be the first TV ad ever to use sign language as part of a campaign to promote diversity as it kicks off coverage of the Rio Paralympic Games.

The 30-second ad, which will not initially air with subtitles, leaving most viewers unable to understand the commercial, is one of three created by chocolate maker Mars to promote its Maltesers brand and champion diversity.

Mars was the winner of a competition held by Channel 4, called Superhumans Wanted, offering £1m in free TV ad space to the ad agency, advertiser, organisation or production company submitting the strongest campaign featuring disability and disabled talent.

“As one of the UK’s biggest advertisers, we have a responsibility and a role to play in reflecting diversity in everyday media,” said Michele Oliver, vice president of marketing at Mars Chocolate UK. “This is a first step for us, and with a fifth of the UK population living with a disability, and the nation focused on this great sporting event, this is the right time to join the conversation.



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