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Giffgaff launches its first TV ad in British Sign Language

Giffgaff network member Aleks challenged the brand to create an ad in BSL

Mobile network Giffgaff has worked closely alongside one of its own members to create its latest TV ad in British Sign Language (BSL).

The spot forms part of the brand’s ‘Giffgaff Gives Back’ series, and came about when network member Aleks challenged Giffgaff to create an ad that was inclusive of and accessible to the deaf community.

Featuring an animated version of Aleks, who is deaf, Giffgaff worked alongside Stink Studios to make sure the creative accurately utilized BSL and conveyed Aleks’s message to viewers.

In the 30- and 10-second versions of the ad, the bespoke animation of Aleks uses BSL to communicate what he likes most about Giffgaff, and shares his story and experience of being with its mobile network.

Abi Pearl, head of advertising at Giffgaff, and Alexa Pinking, senior brand manager, said: “When we were first approached by our member Aleks and asked to create an ad that was more inclusive of the deaf community we embraced the challenge.

“As the mobile network run by you, not only were we excited about the idea of co-creating with a member, but we were treading entirely new waters around inclusivity in advertising – an area that remains largely untapped.

“There was a lot to learn, and we couldn’t have done it without the experts. A big thank you to the Manchester Deaf Centre, who gave us Deaf Awareness Training, as well as Remark, who helped Stink Studios with interpreting and British Sign Language. It has, hands down, been one of the most rewarding ads I’ve ever worked on.”

This is not the first time BSL has been used in a TV advertisement, however it is usually reserved for public service announcements, such as the UK government’s Covid-19 communications.

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