For the most part, the flurry of Christmas displays and advertisements that have seemed to pop up especially early this year have left me frantic and frustrated that people are trying to rush the season. But one advertisement I saw recently is so special, I'd welcome it at any time of the year.
It's done by British department store Marks & Spencer, and it's bright and catchy, and does a pretty good job of trying to get us in the spirit, however premature it may be. But the best part of the ad is something you just might miss if you blink -- Seb White, a 4-year-old with Down Syndrome.
The commercial is especially fantastic because Seb is just one of the gang in it; his Down Syndrome isn't highlighted or otherwise noted, just as things would be in an ideal society. Check it out:
According to The Sun, Seb first started working with the department store after his mother posted a picture of him on the store's Facebook page, saying he'd make a great model. Seeing how handsome he was and all of the positive feedback from other Facebook users, they offered him a job posing for their Christmas catalog. Then he did such a good job there that they offered him a role in the commercial -- the first ever in the U.K. in which a child with Down Syndrome has been featured, according to This is Bath.
Steve Sharp, executive director of marketing for Marks & Spencer, told the site:
Our initial involvement with Seb was due to the overwhelming response to Caroline’s post on our Facebook page. However, he won his place in our TV ad thanks to the natural charm and magical personality he showed on set at our magazine shoot. All the kids had great fun filming the ad and Seb really was one of the gang – which is exactly how it should be.
Exactly. We've seen a couple of other coups in this area, like earlier this year when Valentina Guerrero, a 10-month-old with Down Syndrome, was chosen for the cover of a U.S. catalogue for Spanish swimwear designer Dolores Cortes. Still, movies, TV, and advertisements featuring those with disabilities -- both mental and physical -- are still too few and far between. But it feels like we're making some progress -- as overdue as it may be -- and this is another good step in the right direction.
Do you love this commercial?
Image via YouTube