Vanish Tackles Autism Stereotypes

Vanish Tackles Autism Stereotypes in Honest Film

Vanish, a U.K. household garment care brand, has taken an unexpected approach to address the gender gap in autism diagnoses by releasing a short film titled «Me, My Autism and I.» 

Vanish and Havas London Win Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award with Autism Campaign

This film was created in collaboration with Ambitious About Autism, Vanish’s charity partner, to challenge stereotypes about autism and improve diversity across advertising.

Photo: Adweek

The film, directed by Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper, follows the everyday life of a real autistic girl named Ash and the emotional importance of her hoodie. Vanish’s initiative was to shatter the misconception that autism primarily impacts boys, balancing positive portrayals of autistic girls’ talents with honest, authentic insights into their struggles.

Clothes can be a lifeline for autistic people, and the film highlights the comfort and familiarity they can provide. The narrative is based on an insight learned during collaboration with Ambitious About Autism: personal items of clothing can often be “a source of comfort to help navigate a world not built for them.”

The Importance of Clothes to Autistic People and Vanish’s Role in Their Lives

Vanish campaign aims to broaden public understanding, challenge assumptions, and inspire an ongoing conversation to help autistic girls, women, and all autistic people get the support they need to fulfill their potential.

Photo: Adweek

Vanish will donate 25 pence from every pack of Vanish Gold Range sold in U.K. Asda stores between March 29 and April 18 to Ambitious About Autism.

The brand has also partnered with model and author Christine McGuinness, who will share her story of autism and unveil her own must-have clothing item, a grey hoodie.

The campaign also features influencers ADHD Love and Ellie Midds talking about autism and their relationship to clothing.

To showcase the stories of 12 young autistic girls and their favorite clothing, Vanish and Havas will host a free exhibition at London’s Gallery@Oxo. The brand is also working with Ambitious About Autism and the charity Neurodiversity in Business to build support for its own neurodiverse employees.

Vanish Aims to Broaden Understanding and Support for Autistic Girls with Short Film

Vanish campaign is part of Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award; which challenges advertisers and their agencies to pitch campaigns that are diverse and inclusive.

Each year’s contest has a different theme, and the winning campaign receives $1.2 million in commercial airtime on the channel. 

The 2022 brief was to focus on disability, a theme that Channel 4 repeated for the first time since its inaugural contest.

Channel 4 is renowned for its portrayals of disability in advertising, such as its ongoing Paralympics campaign «Superhumans,» which has won at Cannes Lions for each of its three chapters. Vanish’s latest campaign showcases its long-term effort to improve diversity and challenge stereotypes in advertising, promoting a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.