Maltesers Adds £1 Million Touch to Paralympics Push

The three Maltesers ads starring disabled actors debut during the opening ceremony of the Rio Paralympic Games on 7 September.

Cashing in on its £1million free airtime win awarded by Channel 4, Maltesers, under Mars Chocolate UK, has unveiled its Paralympic-themed campaign supporting diversity and disability. Courtesy of the television network’s Superhumans Wanted platform, the push launches this week.

A series of three spots starring disabled actors, the ads will premiere during the opening ceremony of the Rio Paralympic Games on 7 September 2016, for which Channel 4 is official tournament broadcaster. The brand snagged the grand prize when it clinched the title for best creative idea.

Defeating 89 other bluechip contenders, the candy giant and its creative agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, were chosen for their unique campaign delivery of diversity. The other leading brands on the shortlist included Amazon, Barclays, Dove, H&M, Lloyds Bank, Lynx, and Purdey’s.

An extension of the Maltesers Look on the Light Side exercise, the humour-infused commercials depict real-life stories of disabled people in universally awkward moments. Titled Dance Floor, Theo’s Dog, and New Boyfriend, the shorts capture a clear interaction with a packet of Maltesers.

Tim Riley and Dave Buchanan from AMV BBDO developed the broadcast ads, while MediaCom handled media buying and planning. The spots were directed by Clay Weiner through Biscuit. The campaign’s ideas received guidance from disability-led non-profit organisation, Scope.

Supporting the organiser’s ‘Year of Disability’ initiatives, Superhumans Wanted saw release in April and welcomed some 90 submissions throughout the contest period. Channel 4 is set to also run spots from Sainsbury’s, Samsung, and Nissan over the first ad break of the opening ceremony.

“As one of the UK’s biggest advertisers, we have a responsibility and a role to play in reflecting diversity in everyday media. This is a first step for us and the right time to join the conversation,” said Michele Oliver, Vice President of Marketing at Mars Chocolate UK.