Unique C4 ad break allows viewers to experience sight loss conditions

Channel 4 has partnered with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), alongside five advertisers to enable viewers for the first time to ‘see’ an ad break through the eyes of two million people living with sight loss conditions in the UK today.

This unique campaign raises awareness of the importance of eye care and was broadcast during Channel 4’s The Undateables at approx. 9.15pm and 9.30pm on Monday 18th September 2017, to coincide with National Eye Health Week.

The application of different visual filters across ads for O2, Paco Rabanne (PUIG UK), Amazon Echo, Freeview and Specsavers will illustrate the five most common eye conditions in the UK; macular degeneration (affects the central part of a person’s vision), cataracts (cause sight to become cloudy or misty), eye conditions caused by diabetes (which can affect the blood vessels at the back of the eyes), hemianopia (a person loses half of their vision) and glaucoma (a condition that damages the optic nerve).

The campaign will be repeated in the following break at 9.30pm with the addition of audio description for viewers with a visual impairment.

This innovative campaign follows on from Channel 4’s most accessible ad break ever for the Rio Paralympics, fully signed by deaf artist and actor David Ellington in 2016. The idea has been developed through 4Sales’ creative arm PL4Y and produced by Channel 4’s award winning in-house creative agency 4Creative. The special ad breaks were produced with the support of RNIB and Eye Health UK (organisers of National Eye Health week).

The ad breaks were led by 4Sales’ David Amodio, Digital & Creative Leader; Charlotte Rowland, Creative Strategist and Michelle Pierre, Group Special Projects Manager, working with agency partners Havas Group (O2 & Paco Rabanne), Initiative (Amazon), MEC (Freeview) and Manning Gottlieb OMD (Specsavers). Each brand has donated 10% of their production fee to the RNIB in support of National Eye Health Week.

Jonathan Allan, Channel 4 Sales Director said: “Working with RNIB, we aim to illustrate the various perspectives of millions of people in the UK living with sight loss and provide full audio description to all our viewers. We hope this latest idea continues Channel 4’s legacy of delivering original, creative campaigns that focus on accessibility. From Superhumans Wanted winner Maltesers to last year’s fully signed ad break, and the launch of our diversity in advertising award we want to inspire advertisers to develop creative with their entire audience in mind.”

Sophie Castell, Director at RNIB, said: “This unique opportunity to work with Channel 4 and some really great advertisers will help show viewers different sight loss conditions and what living with sight loss can be like. The use of audio description across an entire ad break marks a cultural shift in advertising. We are really proud to be part of this exciting and rewarding initiative with Channel 4 and the advertisers.”





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