I believe advertising can start a revolution. After interviewing Teal Sherer and getting her take as an actor in the commercial, I was fortunate enough to interview Jennifer Anderson, Marketing Manager with Liberty Mutual, who shared more insights from the advertiser’s perspective.
Prior to hiring Teal, Jennifer mentioned that her team worked with a non-profit media organization to ensure that the disability would be portrayed correctly and with as much realism as possible. The team at Liberty Mutual also made the decision to hire a person with disability, PWD, actor as opposed to a fully able actor portraying a PWD. “We were overwhelmed by Teal’s response and participation. Teal worked with our team and the agency to share how she really went through her daily routine – capturing for us every detail.”
Jennifer says that “The goal of the TV ad was to align Liberty Mutual and the value of doing the right thing – which may not be the easy thing – regardless of ability.”
Jennifer went on to inform me about a new Liberty Mutual brand ad and inclusion of a PWD within one of their newest commercials. Here, you’ll see the spot, which features a blind woman – whom Liberty Mutual did cast a blind woman – and her experiences and interactions with others on her daily commute. Working with the Braille Institute, Jennifer and her team made sure that the spot incorporated the same attention to detail as the earlier ‘Election’ by including the right kind of guidance stick. Below is a link to the commercial.
Jennifer informed me that the initial idea was sparked by Liberty Mutual’s advertising agency, Hill Holliday. “We loved the idea and we wanted to make sure that when including someone with a disability we showed them as very capable. Even with things that made the situation in the ad a little more challenging – such as the rain, waiting at a bus stop, gated access to the voting site – that these challenges could be overcome.”
“When Hill Holliday presented the concept for the latest ad, we were excited. Again, we wanted to ensure that the people we cast are real and in real situations. We want it to be true to life. It was very rewarding to be in touch and to learn about a person with a disability’s daily life and to portray it in a way that doesn’t convey weakness. Instead, we were sure to depict someone going through everyday routines with pride and responsibility.”