Recent ads by ‘Swiffer,’ a company offering a variety of cleaning products, are known for featuring families and couples with high energy spirit. Their recent ad, however, features their most unconventional family yet. The patriarch is a young man with a physical disability - the partial absence of his forearm and hand.
As he demonstrates in the commercial, cleaning with only one hand and arm can be a challenge. He shows how difficult trying to clean twirling fan blades without the use of two arms to steady the blades while wiping them down. He points out, “When you only have one hand, you’re not doing anything as fast as you used to, which is funny because I still do it better than her,” (referring to his wife).
The ad shows the young man trying to maneuver a traditional broom declaring that he can’t help out as much as he used to (before his limb loss), making every day chores a challenge. Then he tries the Swiffer sweeper and dusters offered by the company and finds his independence through the increased mobility to help with chores around the house thanks to Swiffer’s products.
While the goal of the commercial is to appeal to customers by showing them how much easier their products can make their lives, it calls attention to the everyday challenges a family living with a disability faces. The best part of the ad is not that it offers a glimpse into the life of a family facing challenges, but rather shows the happiness and love that surround the family despite the disability.
Other kudos for the commercial are offered on Swiffer’s Facebook page. Check out a couple of the following comments:
“Thank you for using the young man who lost a hand. It means a lot to those with family members with missing limbs.”
“I salute you! Thanks for showing that life can be meaningful and HAPPY after sustaining a disability. I've never felt the need to try your product before; however, I am now excited to spend money with a company who cares enough about our vets to show them living life happy. Thank you!”
Some may call this type of advertising bold, risky, or unconventional. When an ad can garner attention and spark conversation, it’s a step in the right direction to creating positive awareness for our disabled friends and neighbors.
You can watch the entire commercial here:
Tell us what you think about the ad in the comments! What are your thoughts on recent images of disability in the media?
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.