When many of us see modern advertising, we look at it with a degree of skepticism and negativity. What's been photoshopped and what's been embellished? The ubiquitousness of advertising has warped our views of normality to a point where for many the artificial world is accepted as the new reality. What does not fit our schemas is often ignored, or seen with such sock that we choose not to engage with it.
Acknowledging just this predicament, Pro Infirmis, a Swiss charity organisation working to aid the integration of people with so-called disabilities, has come up with several campaigns to challenge these perceptions. The latest was done right before Christmas on Zurich’s famous Bahnhofstrasse.
Mannequins of Miss Handicap 2010, Jasmin Rechsteiner, radio moderator and film critic Alex Oberholzer, track and field athlete Urs Kolly, blogger Nadja Schmid as well as actor Erwin Aljukic were created and dressed for five shops in Zurich. The motto of the campaign is "Because who is perfect?"
Who's perfect, anyway?
Gianni Blumer deserves your respect
Another recent campaign featured Gianni Blumer, as we experience the world through his perspective. In the end we are again asked to come closer. To treat him as a person, like we would treat anyone else we see as "normal":
People shouldn't need to put on costumes
The last add from 2011 shows someone on the streets on Zurich wearing a bear costume and getting hugs from people. At the end the person wearing the costume removes the mask and the question: "Do we need to wear a costume, so that you’ll come closer?"
These campaigns are important in every country.
As you can see, the people featured in these ads are living regular lives. They are not asking for special treatment, but they are asking to be treated like everyone ought to be treated.