Academy Awards Ad Makes Pitch To Disability Market
A national television ad debuting during the Oscars is designed to spark conversation about how people with disabilities consume entertainment.
The 60-second spot for Comcast features a 7-year-old named Emily who was born blind describing what she sees in her mind when she watches her favorite movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” Visuals in the commercial recreate Emily’s version of the classic film.
The cable giant is using Emily’s story to hawk its new “talking guide,” which reads television program titles, network names, times and other details aloud so that users with visual disabilities and other special needs can independently navigate the TV experience.
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“We want to create opportunities for people who love film and television, but who might not have the opportunity to experience it to its fullest,” said Tom Wlodkowski, Comcast’s vice president of accessibility who is blind himself. “By bringing the talking guide to as many people as possible, we can help to bridge that gap and make entertainment just as compelling, captivating and fun for people with a visual disability as it is for anyone else.”
Some of Hollywood’s top talent worked to make Emily’s version of Oz a reality and Academy Award winner Robert Redford does the voice-over for the advertisement, Comcast officials said.
Advertising during Sunday’s Academy Awards broadcast on ABC is big business, with the cost of a 30-second commercial reportedly fetching an average of $1.95 million.