It is the buzz of the week in France. Simyo, a new mobile operator on a French saturated market, has launched an advertising with Pascal Duquenne, an actor suffering from Down Syndrome. You cannot be untouched by the advertising as it is moving to see Mr. Duquenne (this guy looks so sincere - so must the brand!). The campaign was piloted by the Buzzman agency. In addition to the ad, Simyo has launched a dedicated website.
Organizations linked to handicaps seem to be approve of the ad. They are probably fed up with all the perfect looking actors - a trend which Dove already picked on with their Campaign for Real Beauty. The reactions seem to be more negative in the advertising community because "is it nice to use the handicap of someone to sell your offer?"
The ad (in French):
The making of (in French)
Excerpts of the Marketing Director in the Making Of:
"Brand values: honesty & fairness, hence rightness of the choice of Pascal Duquenne", "to show the support of our values, we financed the association called the 8th day that is managed by Pascal's mother" "a new campaign, a risky campaign, but decided to make it because in total adequation with what we defend, meaning respect, an offer for all and transparency"