WHAT: Striking new campaign, “Here I Am” from U.K. charity Mencap, is a rallying cry for people with learning disabilities.
WHO: Mencap, The Corner
WHY WE CARE: What’s great about this campaign is that it does not apologize for itself or seek pity. Rather, it unashamedly forces the viewer to reappraise their attitudes to people with learning disabilities. It is not asking for money, it’s not actually asking for anything except your attention to see people as they really are.
The 60-second film, “Here I Am: Understand Me”, featuring DJ Casey, begins with a truly shocking voice recording of an academic from 1968, who states that there is “no reason to feel guilty about putting a Down’s syndrome child away”. He continues, “True guilt only arises from an offense against a person, and a Down’s is not a person.” Casey soon fixes that.
The film, directed by Ed Morris, is supported with several outdoor and print executions from a series of photographs shot by celebrity photographer, Rankin. The Mencap website hosts stories about all the people in the photographs. The campaign launched on Friday and has already seen significant success, with in excess of 92 million impressions over the weekend. Founding partner of The Corner, Neil Simpson, says, “Mencap had very little money for media, so we spent what we had on creating a media thunderclap. It’s amazing what can be achieved these days with no money, but energy and a new approach.”