Friday, January 25, 2008

Pepsi, Super-Bowl Silence (gasp!) and Deaf Culture

The yearly Super Bowl ads always generate seasonal buzz and lots of noise, plus spirited water-cooler talk on Monday. This year promises to be no exception.

Except maybe for one. Thanks to those clever folks at PepsiCo (and their ad agency), one of this year's ads features 60 seconds of silence. Not a word, not a sound. Nada. Only American Sign Language (ASL).

When it comes to Super Bowl advertising, Pepsi rarely disappoints, but this time they've gone where few if any Super Bowl ads have gone before- to the topic of disability and the deaf culture, and they've done it with ground-breaking pizzaz.

That's right. A little disabliity awareness with your football, chips and beer- I mean Pepsi!

Right on!

If you haven't already seen the Pepsi Super Bowl ad featuring total silence and actors who are deaf, read on and link to the You Tube site below. Fact is, the special needs community is about to take a huge step forward in public awareness before the largest television audience in the world.


The ad already has tongues wagging, and that helps create awareness and discussion of ability, while challenging outdated thinking and stereotypes. That's progress.

-and people think those cute commercials are for pure entertainment.

Granted, Broussard, who plays Bob in the spot, isn't deaf (two other actors are), but he has a rare sensitivity and appreciation for this culture, and afterall, it was his idea. PepsiCo was just smart enough to run with the idea and deliver a welcome,ground-breaking, refreshing ad about something more than just selling a product.

Although I'm pretty sure PepsiCo hopes to sell product, too.

I raise my bottle of diet Pepsi to you PepsiCo for recognizing the insight and creative talent of your own employees, and for running with the idea during the super bowl of advertising gigs!

Pure genius!

Now, if only Josh Blue was performing at half time...

Check it out on You Tube, where you can also catch the behind-the-scenes production video, which does have sound! And if you like the ad, contact PepsiCo and tell them! Maybe this is only the beginning.
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

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