The Norwegian Association of the Blind just debuted two new ads encouraging employers to hire the blind. Let’s take a look at what I’m sure will be heartwarming, uplifting spots that celebrate the best of humanity.

WTF?!? My head is spinning.

What’s the takeaway from these ads?
Blind people miss out on office nudity.
Blind people save you money where sighted people demand things like lights.
Sniff your pits. Adjust the girls. Blind people don’t care.

Who exactly is the target audience?
Bosses who would rather get it on in the copy room than run a business.
Uncouth managers who have no sense of decorum.
Employers too cheap to pay the electric bill.

Oddly enough, the main controversy surrounding these ads seems to be whether or not they actually hired blind people to appear in the ads — not the content of the ads themselves.

This isn’t to say you can’t do a humorous ad that involves a blind person. It is possible. Check out this 1996 Levi’s UK ad.

Why does this work?
It’s simple. The joke is on the girl. She ignorantly assumes that the guy with the white tipped cane is blind — even going so far as to taunt him while buttoning her jeans.

Could the Norwegian ads be fixed?
Maybe. The ads need to end so the blind employee is the hero — not the butt of the joke. And that’s not something I learned in ad school. It’s something I learned in kindergarten.


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