Autism Speaks campaign uses stop-motion animation in latest awareness effort

Advocacy organization Autism Speaks has rolled out a 3D and stop-animation campaign inspired by stories of real kids with autism that aims to help parents better recognize and understand the disorder in their own children.

Created by agency BBDO in partnership with the Ad Council, the PSAs were inspired by a young boy named Jacob and his experiences living with autism. Lobo Productions created the world featured in the campaign.

The whimsical video (above) tells Jacob’s story through colorful animation and metaphors while highlighting some of the signs of autism, including lack of eye contact, delayed speech, and sensitivity to light.

Jacob himself appears at the end and says, “One day I found out I had something called autism. My family got me help. Slowly, I found my voice and learned all the ways I can live with it better.”

According to the Ad Council, the PSAs build upon BBDO’s award-winning ‘Learn the Signs’ campaign for Autism Speaks that launched in 2006, which it says has helped increase awareness of the disorder among parents.

Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks, said: “Parents now know more about autism than ever before, but we must continue to educate them about the vital importance of early identification, diagnosis and intervention. By telling a story from the perspective of a child who is on the spectrum, these new PSAs will not only further educate parents to recognize the early signs and take action, but will also lead to greater understanding of the disorder in the general public.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that the average age of autism diagnosis is 4-5 years but a reliable one can be made as early as 18-24 months.

The latest effort includes TV, print, digital, and out-of-home efforts. The animated videos can also be viewed in Spanish.

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Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she primarily covers independent agencies and B2B marketing. She also oversees The Drum’s “Independent Influence,” a weekly series that spotlights the work, perspectives and inspirations behind independent agencies. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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