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Aardman Highlights the Stigma of Autism in ‘Different Minds. One Scotland’ Spot

Award-winning animation studio teams up with the Scottish Government and The Leith Agency on a thoughtful animated commercial to provide a clearer understanding of autism to the non-autistic population.

Multi award-winning animation studio Aardman has teamed up with the Scottish Government and The Leith Agency to create a thought-provoking animated commercial, for their Different Minds. One Scotland campaign, highlighting the stigma and discrimination autistic people face every day.

The creative campaign is designed to deliver a clearer understanding of autism to the non-autistic population; Aardman was tasked with creating a striking film that would capture attention and help share this complex message with the audience.

“It's a real privilege to be able to spend our time making films, especially for a project that seeks to encourage a little empathy, kindness and understanding for a group who’s experience of the world might be a little different to our own,” commented Aardman director, Daniel Binns. “Creatively it was thoroughly enjoyable challenge to try do justice to that experience and despite lockdown coming along, it was a rewarding project that I'm proud to have been a part of."

“This is a very important campaign, one Leith's really proud to have created, working closely with our Scottish Government clients and stakeholders,” added The Leith Agency planning director, David Amers. “It aims to deepen the publics' understanding and acceptance of autism in Scotland and to challenge on-going myths. In doing so, it's a big step towards tackling the stigma and discrimination autistic people can feel. "

“We are delighted to see the launch of the Different minds. One Scotland campaign today,” noted Claire Prentice, head of Safer Marketing, Scottish Government. “At the heart of the campaign is a desire to tackle the stigma and myths surrounding autism and to help people have a better understanding of autism. Aardman understood our vision from the start and worked closely with us throughout to create an animated film which beautifully captures what the life of an autistic mind is like. We’re really delighted with the end result, and are confident it will have a powerful role to play in increasing awareness and understanding of autism in Scotland”

The three-part campaign includes advertising on TV, radio, outdoor posters, and digital media channels, and has been developed to communicate key messages and dispel myths about autism.

Key Messages:

  • Autism is a part of everyday life. At least 1 in 100 people in Scotland are autistic, which means that one per cent of our population sees and experiences the world around them differently.
  • Autism is a neurological difference, from birth; put simply, autistic brains work differently to non-autistic brains.
  • The best way to understand more about autism is to understand what it is not what it is not and to listen to the experiences of autistic people themselves.
  • Every autistic person is unique. If you have met one autistic person, you have met one autistic person! Each experiences the world in a way that is completely unique to them.
  • Whilst many people may be aware of autism it is usually known and spoken about in the context of children, not many relate it to adults.

The Facts:

  • People do not develop autism, they are born autistic; some may not get diagnosed until later in life.
  • Many autistic people see autism as an integral part of who they are. They are not a person with autism, but an autistic person; they cannot leave autism at the door should they want to. Many would not. Autism affects the way they experience the world around them, in both positive and negative ways.
  • Autism is often thought of as a mental health condition, it is not. However, it is true that many autistic people experience anxiety and depression. We all need to look after our mental wellbeing.
  • You cannot tell if someone is autistic just by looking at them. Autism does not have a look; autistic people can be of any race, gender, or age. It is often an invisible difference with many autistic people feeling that they need to hide or ‘mask’ their autistic characteristics.
  • Autism is not caused by vaccines, nor is it curable. Many autistic people would not want or need a “cure” as being autistic is who they are.

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Source: Aardman