Ad of the Day: National Autistic Society's 'Make it Stop' film helps young girl discuss autism with her classmates

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has unveiled the latest iteration of its 'Too Much Information' campaign, which stars a 12-year-old autistic girl called Holly.

The 'Make It Stop' spot depicts Holly going through her day and becoming overwhelmed when she isn't given enough time to process information. As part of the process the schoolgirl led an assembly for classmates to screen the film and open up a dialogue about her day-to-day experiences.

More than 1 in 100 people are on the autistic spectrum, with those diagnosed often finding social situations difficult and struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, leading to sensory overload.

Don't Panic worked with the NAS to create the film, which was developed after finding many autistic people and families will avoid public situations for fear of becoming overwhelmed.

"If just one person sees the film and is more understanding to autistic people, I’ll be happy,” Holly explained. “Sometimes I get really upset that people do not understand autism. But I hope this campaign will help improve understanding and make other people who are autistic feel more accepted."

The film has been released in time for World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April, and follows on from the the first part of the campaign last year which put viewers into the shoes of a young autistic boy and let them experience the world through his eyes in VR.

"We needed to find a way to visually represent a struggle that was otherwise invisible," said Christopher Ross-Kellam, creative lead on the project. "To depict this battle with insufficient processing time in an emotional way, whilst staying true to the experience. We made sure that each stage of the creative process was tested on, and run by, an autistic adult and/or child."

You can watch the film in full and see the credits by clicking on the image below.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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