The Drum | Channel 4, Sassy Films & AdText team up to launch audio described ad-break takeover giving viewers insight into living with visual impairment

Channel 4 joins forces with the RNIB and 6 major advertisers to raise awareness of Audio Description.
Press August 25, 2021

Channel 4, in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), has teamed up with Airbnb, BT Broadband, Experian, P&G brands (Gillette & Oral B) and Virgin Media to create a multi-brand ‘A.D. Ad-Break’ takeover to demonstrate the importance of Audio Description (AD) – an additional commentary that verbally explains what’s happening on screen.

The unique campaign will have the participating brands split evenly across two ad-breaks within the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and The Last Leg on August 24th, as well as during live coverage and highlights of the games on August 25th.

Both breaks will see the brands normal 10” adverts repurposed by Channel 4 and graphically treated to distort the visual experience and make them hard to see -demonstrating what it is like for someone with sight loss to watch TV using AD and directing audiences to hear and engage with the audio description recorded by presenter and comedian Alex Brooker.

The campaign is designed to highlight the importance of AD by raising awareness of its availability for blind and partially sighted audiences. Additionally, the campaign will also encourage other brands to increase the number of ads they make available with AD to support viewers with sight loss.

According to the RNIB there are around 2 million people who have sight loss and a number of these aren’t active users of AD who could be benefiting from it. Whilst many programmes can be accessed via AD, less than 2% of adverts Channel 4 receives are delivered with it which means brands could be missing out on blind and partially sighted consumers worth an estimated £16 billion annually.

The ad break will open with a Channel 4 branded introduction to explain the context of the campaign as well as a closing message that thanks participating brands and direct audiences to for further information.

All participating brands will be resupplied their normal ad but with the AD added so they can use it within their normal ad-campaign.

The campaign was produced by Sassy Films with support from accessible advertising specialist; Adtext.


You can find out more about the campaign via The Drum and get in touch with AdText here.