*I can remember the day, not too long ago, when I wanted to scream out loud with excitement upon seeing an African American model in a national print ad. Diversity in advertising used to be the exception, not the rule. While we still have a way to go, a look at a recent circular makes me think we’re making a lot of headway.
Target has got people talking about a recent Halloween ad that takes the concepts to a whole new level. In a recent circular, the retail titan has featured an adorable little girl with mobility challenges, supported with crutches and dressed as Elsa from “Frozen” for the upcoming holiday.
The ad first showed up last week on Facebook, having been posted by a mom who was familiar with the importance of giving visibility to models like the one in Target’s ad.
“Thank you for including a child with braces and arm crutches into your advertising campaign,” Jen Spickenagel Kroll posted. “And as Elsa, no less! My daughter (with arm crutches and prosthetic legs) is going to FLIP when she sees this!”
“Including children with special needs into advertising makes them less of a spectacle to the general public when they venture out into the real world,” Kroll continued. “Normalizing disabilities in children is PRICELESS.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Parents and advocacy groups have been praising Target’s decision to include the model — and it’s not the first time they’ve done it. Back in 2012, the retailer ran an advertisement featuring a toddler with Down Syndrome.
“At Target, our core beliefs of diversity and inclusivity are reflected in our advertising and in our business overall,” a Target spokesperson said via email. “We’ve included people with disabilities in our advertising for more than 25 years and we’re humbled by the support we’ve received recently.
Target’s final statement is not only going to drive me over there for my holiday shopping this year, but it’s worthy of a hearty “amen”:
“We look forward to a day when diversity of all types in advertising is no longer a topic of discussion, but a way of life.”