Shift 20 - ANZ's commitment to visibility for people with disability

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 6 October 2023
Sian Chadwick

Ten of Australia’s most well known brands are coming together in support of disability representation with the ‘Unignorable Adbreak’, swapping out key scenes in their advertising to include a person with disability.

The ‘Unignorable Adbreak’ is a campaign by the Shift 20 Initiative, led by the Dylan Alcott Foundation and focused on increasing disability representation, inclusion and accessibility in Australian advertising and media. 

During the month of October, AdNews is speaking to marketing leaders at some of the companies taking part in the initiative, finding out why they wanted to get involved, the response to the ads, what the industry needs to do better and more.

Sian Chadwick, General Manager of Marketing at ANZ

What made you want to get involved with the Shift 20 Initiative?

As one of the largest brands in Australia, we think it’s important to represent all Australians equally in the community, particularly the 1 in 5 Australians with disability that otherwise have not been represented on screens.

Supporting Shift 20 is an extension of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, ANZ has been championing in this space for quite some time.

ANZ has a long standing relationship with the Dylan Alcott Foundation and when the opportunity to be involved with Shift 20 came about, we embraced it. 

Were you already working with talent with a disability (either in front of or behind the camera) or was this a first for your brand?

ANZ has had a long standing commitment to embed accessibility and inclusion in all parts of our business and have included disability representation in our advertising briefings and casting for many years.

This commitment to visibility for people with disability in ANZ ads is not new. The original TVC featured an actor who is a bilateral above knee amputee, but this simple and powerful change in the reshot version increases the representation in a more deliberate way.

In addition to disability, we also strive to be inclusive across age, nationality, accessibility and gender. 

How did you decide which of your TVCs to change?

We worked collaboratively with agency Special Group to establish the most effective scene to change to create the most impact.

Have you received any feedback from the public in response to the ads?

The response from audiences both internal and external to ANZ has been overwhelming, it just goes to show that making disability more visible is important to all of our community.

Here are two organic responses to the campaign we received - one from a customer and the other an ANZ employee.

 ANZ Shift 20

"The impact of this campaign is huge –it makes me so proud to work for ANZ. My 7 year old has CP and since Sunday night, every time he sees the ANZ ad, he proudly yells out “Look mum, disability!!” – just thought I’d share."

What do you hope other CMOs and marketing/advertising leaders take away from this initiative? What do you think the advertising and marketing industries need to do moving forward to ensure that people with a disability are better represented?

Our hope is that as marketing and advertising leaders, supporting appropriate and effective disability representation is something we all do moving forward, and that as a collective we champion this change over time.

I think it’s important to be deliberate about this change, in representing our community. We’re excited for other marketing leaders and brands to do the same.  

Our hope is that we see appropriate and effective disability representation become second nature to advertisers.

Initiatives such as Shift 20 are a catalyst for change and we believe we’re at the start of a real shift, I hope we can look back in five years, and as an industry have met this target.

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