Viewers tuned into Channel 4 on Monday night will get an insight into what it’s like to experience sight loss thanks to new adverts created to mimic the effects.
The channel has partnered with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), alongside five advertisers to enable viewers for the first time to experience an ad break through the eyes of two million people living with sight loss conditions in the UK.
This campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of eye care and will be broadcast during Channel 4’s ‘The Undateables’ at approximately 9.15pm and 9.30pm on Monday 18 September, to coincide with National Eye Health Week.
The adverts will illustrate the five most common eye conditions in the UK; macular degeneration (which affects the central part of a person’s vision), cataracts (which cause sight to become cloudy or misty), eye conditions caused by diabetes (which can affect the blood vessels at the back of the eyes), hemianopia (which occurs when a person loses half of their vision) and glaucoma (a condition that damages the optic nerve).
The application of different visual filters has been placed across ads for O2, Paco Rabanne (PUIG UK), Amazon Echo, Freeview and Specsavers.
The campaign will be repeated in the following break at 9.30pm with the addition of audio description for viewers with a visual impairment.
This isn’t the first time Channel 4 has increased disability awareness through its ad breaks. In 2016, the channel hosted the “most accessible ad break ever” during during a special Rio Paralympics edition of ‘The Last Leg’. The ad was fully signed by deaf artist and actor David Ellington.
According to RNIB, every 15 minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight.
Sophie Castell, director at the charity, said she hopes the new adverts will “help show viewers different sight loss conditions and what living with sight loss can be like”.
“The use of audio description across an entire ad break marks a cultural shift in advertising. We are really proud to be part of this exciting and rewarding initiative with Channel 4 and the advertisers,” she said.
Jonathan Allan, Channel 4 sales director, added: “Working with RNIB, we aim to illustrate the various perspectives of millions of people in the UK living with sight loss and provide full audio description to all our viewers.
“We hope this latest idea continues Channel 4’s legacy of delivering original, creative campaigns that focus on accessibility. ”