This week’s Ad of the Week is a charity campaign that aims to highlight the difficulties that ex-offenders experience in the job market. It mixes simple but effective filmmaking with clever use of technology to create an ad that will genuinely make you think.
Created for the charity Business In The Community, the spot is by Leo Burnett Change, the arm of Burnett’s devoted to creating not-for-profit work that has a social impact. It aims to raise awareness of a petition by the BITC to remove the tickbox asking about criminal convictions in job applications, in order to prevent predjudice against the applicant.
Directed by Dougal Wilson, it shows an ex-offender talking about his search for a job following being released from prison. So far, so straightforward. Not long after the ad begins, however, the ‘skip ad’ button appears in the bottom right-hand corner. This is where things get interesting – if viewers press the button, instead of the footage moving to something new, we see the young man going back to the beginning of his speech, this time slightly upset. The ‘skip ad’ button appears again and again, and each time it is pressed, the young man visibly loses confidence as he tries to speak to the viewer. The spot then ends by pointing out how easy it is to disregard ex-offenders, and ‘skip’ over them.
What makes the spot stand out is its use of the ‘skip ad’ button to firstly create surprise and then to draw viewers into the man’s story. The fact that the ‘skip’ relates directly to the ad’s message is what makes it especially powerful – this is not simply a technology gimmick, the subversion of the skip button is central to the story being told. This, alongside a subtle performance by the actor, makes for a truly standout ad, something that’s difficult to achieve in the charity sector.
To watch and interact with the ad, visit the BITC website here.
Agency: Leo Burnett
ECD: Justin Tindall
Creative director: Adam Tucker
Creatives: Hugh Todd, Darren Keff, Phillip Meyler
Director: Dougal Wilson
Production company: Blink Productions