In this online video petition, Melissa, a 10 year-old girl with a form of muscular dystrophy called Charcot-Marie-tooth, asks the American Girl doll company (Mattel, Inc.) to create a disabled American Girl doll and story. Melissa is shown sitting in front of a Christmas tree and piano, holding one of her dolls as she explains that she’s read all the American Girl books and has seen all the movies, and would love to learn or read about a girl like her, with a disability. In closing, she says, “disabled girls are American Girls too. We face challenges and overcome them every day,” and asks viewers to sign the change.org petition she put together with her sister.
Produced for the 2015 Super Bowl, Toyota’s How Great I Am ad follows Amy Purdy (a double-amputee and Olympic medalist) as she participates in her different life activities: jogging, snowboarding, dancing and mountain bike riding — all with the assistance of her Toyota Camry. Showing the world “how great [Purdy] is,” despite her disabilities (and with Toyota’s help) is a central theme of the commercial. Purdy shows her greatness through athleticism and gritty work ethic. Quotes from a speech by famed heavy-weight boxer Muhammad Ali, narrate these visuals, intensifying the drama of Purdy’s role. Through audio and visuals, Purdy and Ali are simultaneously “knocked down” or defeated. Viewers, in turn, see Purdy’s struggle and triumphs as a double-amputee within the context of Muhammad Ali’s history as a boxer; in order to achieve greatness, Purdy must exhibit the highest athleticism.
This television ad for Guinness beer features five men playing an intense game of wheelchair basketball, while poignant music plays in the background. A narrator proclaims: “Dedication. Loyalty. Friendship,” when the game ends, and suddenly all but one of the men in wheelchairs unstrap themselves and start walking out of the gymnasium. The narrator continues: “The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character,” as the group head to a bar. As the ad ends, it becomes clear that these able-bodied male friends have chosen to play wheelchair basketball in support of their wheelchair-bound friend.
H&M Close the Loop video is an advertisement for the clothing company’s sustainable fashion through recycling clothes campaign. The ad features a diverse representation of models that are different sizes, ages, genders, sexualities, religions, races, ethnicities, varying degrees of able-bodiedness, and people wearing and presenting their hair - including under arm hair, beards, and head hair - in different styles. The ad features a voice-over saying commonly stated and sometimes contradictory fashion rules and advice while images of diverse, fashionable people in various settings challenge assumptions about these rules. The ad closes with text urging people to leave unwanted garments in any H&M store so that the company can reuse or recycle them into new clothes.