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During last night’s Sunday Project, 10 of the country’s biggest brands came together in support of disability representation with the “Unignorable Adbreak”. Swapping out key scenes in their spots to include a person with disability to launch the Shift 20 Initiative.

The altered spots from ANZ, AAMI, Bonds, Kia, McDonald’s, Oral-B, nib, Pantene, Uber, and Weet-Bix ran in the lead-up to Sunday and culminated in a complete media roadblock during the prime time Sunday Project. It was designed to make viewers take notice of the lack of disability representation in advertising and launch the Shift 20 Initiative to combat it. Tourism Australia, Virgin Australia and TikTok have also come on board as foundation partners.

The Shift 20 Initiative is led by the Dylan Alcott Foundation. Australians with disabilities make up almost 20 per cent of the population. Yet in advertising, they are only represented one per cent of the time. Ryan Fitzgerald, executive creative director at Special, said “When we first started talking to Dylan about the issue, we knew this couldn’t simply be an awareness job. We needed to do something bold that made a statement, and more importantly, created real change with a long-lasting impact.

“Changing out something that has already been and including a person with disability is a simple yet powerful way to highlight that people with disability can easily fill the same roles as anyone else.”

“Whether it’s changing the iconic face of a brand, brand representatives or simply the characters in the stories we tell, our industry is in a powerful position to send a message to 20% of Australia that, up until now, has gone largely unseen to say ‘we see you’.

“Outside of the ‘Unignorable Adbreak’ the Shift 20 Initiative is a crucial part of ensuring long-lasting change in this space. The organisation is designed to set the standard for what disability representation looks like and give others the tools and resources to make an impact.”

The majority of the production re-shoots were led by Revolver, featuring both talent and crew with disabilities. There was also essential oversight from a variety of disability consultants and production partners such as Bus Stop Films to ensure the production environment was inclusive. This included consultancy on the casting process, production considerations for people with disabilities, disability riders, crew attachments and Auslan translators. The Glue Society was a key creative partner in the early development of this campaign. Working closely with Special from the initial agency brief, the team formed a clever and restrained production approach that would allow brands incorporating talent with disabilities to have maximum effect, ensuring the work prompted focus and discussion on the issue.

Rumble Studios, working across a number of the revised TVCs, as well as the supplementary behind-the-scenes films, brought to life with their thoughtful music, composed by Guy Brown.

Lindsey Evans, partner at Special and board director at Advertising Council Australia, said “The support from the industry has been instrumental to launching this initiative. This is about sharing and educating the wider industry as to the massive commercial and cultural opportunity of having representation of the whole population. We hope more brands see this and want to get involved. We have learnt so much from Dylan, the talent and production partners. We can all do better together – as an industry, as consumers and as brands.”

PHD worked with all of the participating brand’s media agencies to coordinate the roadblock in the Sunday Project as well as securing further paid and earned media support for the initiative from media owners across Australia. Simon Lawson, managing director at PHD Melbourne, said “The widespread support from the media owners across Australia has been incredible, quite simply, we’ve never seen collaboration at this scale, leading to a world-first media approach. It underscores the importance of this issue. It’s been a privilege to be involved in this initiative on behalf of PHD and OMG.”

The coalition of launch partners will lead the way in commitment to fair representation of people with disabilities within their ads and marketing communications, providing opportunities and opening doors for people with disabilities. Each brand has its own unique way of showing up in the space from product development, influencer strategies, accessibility innovations, community support and employment with further innovations to come off the back of the initiative.

Dylan Alcott AO, Founder of the Dylan Alcott Foundation commented; “One of the coolest things about working with the amazing brands who have joined the initiative is seeing them learn and grow from listening to the lived experience of people with disability. From previous conversations we’ve had with brands, we know that whilst they want to include people with disabilities in their ads, they are sometimes scared they’ll get it wrong – so they don’t. Getting it wrong is okay. It starts conversations, so you can get it right and can be more inclusive and accessible for everyone – including people with disabilities. The tides are turning and the time for brands to get involved is now.”

A dedicated website has been built to give brands access to best practice resources to create more accessible and inclusive communications. Brands can sign up and find out more about the Shift 20 Initiative at and be part of the change.

The campaign is rolling out across TV, OOH, cinema, earned media, social and digital and has even driven product innovation ensuring that all assets created have been built to be truly accessible. CREDITS: CLIENT Client: Dylan Alcott Foundation Founder: Dylan Alcott OAM General Manager: Georgie Saggers Board Chair: Martin Alcott FOUNDATION PARTNERS AAMI ANZ Bonds Kia McDonald’s nib Oral-B Pantene Uber Weet-Bix TikTok Tourism Australia Virgin Australia CREATIVE + PR AGENCY Agency: Special Australia Partner/CEO: Lindsey Evans Partners/CCO: Julian Schreiber & Tom Martin Partner/CSO: Bec Stambanis Executive Creative Director: Ryan Fitzgerald Creative Director/Creative: Adam Ferrie Creative Director/Creative: Peter Cvetkovski Copywriter: Shaun McFarlane Art Director: Bella Plush Managing Director, Melbourne: Sarah Raine Managing Director, Special PR: Alex Bryant Senior Business Director: Felicity Touzeau Business Director: Priya Addams Williams Business Director: Nick Darrigan Creative Strategist: Kate Wilkinson Head of Film & Content Production (Syd): Sevda Cemo Head of Film & Content Production (Melb): Sophie Simmons Lead Producer: Charlotte Wren Head of Stills Production: Nick Lilley Director, Digital: James Simmons Digital Producer: Gigi Song Head Of Design: Adam Shear Designer: Sarah Ristevski Designer: Maggie Webster Finished Art: John Rivera Comms Strategy Director: Georgia Thomas FILM PRODUCTION Production Company: Revolver Directing Collective: The Glue Society Director: Alice Cogin Managing Director/Co-Owner: Michael Ritchie Executive Producer/ Partner: Pip Smart Executive Producer: Jasmin Helliar Producer: Max Horn Cinematographer: Dale Bremner BTS CAST Rae Pastuszak – nib Nathan Borg – Bonds Sara Shams – ANZ Mia Adams – McDonald’s Basketball NSW – Kia Eva Kalpidis – Weet-Bix Adam Bowes – Uber Lara Nakhle – AAMI BTS FILM PRODUCTION Production Company: Revolver Directing Collective: The Glue Society Directors: Alice Cogin, Pete Baker & Jonathan Kneebone DOP: Will Robertson & Matt Maule Post Production: The Glue Society Studios Editor: Luke Crethar Colourist: Scott Stirling DISABILITY x PRODUCTION CONSULTANTS + CREW ATTACHMENTS Consultancy: Bus Stop Films CEO: Tracey Corbin-Matchett OAM COO: Dianna La Grassa General Manager Bus Stop Employment: Sarah-Jane Johnson CREW ATTACHMENTS Director’s Assistant: Nathan Tsui Lighting: Jack Small BTS Attachment: Juddy Dodd Directors Attachment: Conor Brannerly HMU Attachment: Emily Skerri-Rickert AUSLAN CONSULTANTS & INTERPRETERS Deaf Consultant: Sue Jo Wright Auslan Support Services: Sign Hear Interpreter: Will Tapp Interpreter: Samantha Rutherford Interpreter: Joshua Ophel STILLS PRODUCTION Photographer: Josh Robenstone Producer: The ARTL-NE / Amy Henderson Digital Assistant: Alexander Cooke Retouching: Visual Thing TVC POST PRODUCTION Post House: HECKLER Editor: Andrew Holmes Post Producer: Coralie Tapper Colourist: Matt Fezz Flame Operator: Julian Ford Compositor: Drew Downes and Nitin Amin TVC & BTS SOUND Sound House: RUMBLE STUDIOS Executive Producer: Michael Gie Producer: Siena Mascheretti Sound Engineers: Tone Aston & Cam Milne BTS MUSIC Composer: Guy Brown Brand BTS Post House: MANIMAL CASTING Casting Director: Natalie Jane Harvie, Citizen Jane Casting (Bonds, ANZ, Uber) MEDIA AGENCIES PHD Australia Managing Director: Simon Lawson Business Director: Joey Graham Account Executive: Ben Williams SEO: James Hanley Programmatic: Jethro Pacquing & Riana Adams Omnicom Media Group Chief Executive Officer: Peter Horgan Research & Insights TRA


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