Ad Inclusion Makes Christmas Special – Target’s “Who Makes Christmas Special?” TV Commercial

We love Target Australia’s new Christmas TV commercial!

It ticks so many boxes for representation of diversity in such an incidental, authentic and inclusive way.

In the last 18 months or so Target Australia and Kmart Australia have definitely built the diversity of their customers into their advertising, to much acclaim.

Christmas is a time shared by many in our community and portraying the excitement of Christmas as an experience shared across generations, gender and cultural background is an inclusive message in itself.  Extending that message to include people with disability is reflecting the 1 in 5 Australians who are rarely portrayed in an inclusive way by the media.  In the case of Target’s new TV commercial, we were especially pleased to see the portrayal of a parent with a disability, as well as child with a disability.

Inclusive advertising is about presenting disability within the broader framework of community diversity and advances the rights of all members of our community to participate on an equal basis with everyone else – it affects our cultural norms – consciously but more so subconsciously.

We believe that advertising has the potential to improve community attitudes to diversity and particularly disability and that it can have an intangible but direct effect on how people with disability are welcomed at their local school, how they access the workforce and generally how they participate in and are treated by broader society.

The social benefits of inclusive advertising are difficult to measure … but they are real.  For children and young people in particular, who are still developing their identities and how they see themselves in the world, seeing yourself represented authentically in mass media and in culture is important to feeling accepted, valued and included in one’s community.  Many studies have found that social exclusion and isolation on the other hand, have significant health and other negative impacts.

Inclusive advertising presents a significant platform to companies, retailers, the media and advertisers to recognise the diversity of the communities in which they operate and to support inclusion – it is a legitimate and important area in corporate social responsibility strategy. You can read our report on inclusive advertising and corporate social responsibility here.

Thanks again Target Australia and congratulations to your management, marketing and creative teams who have come together to drive and implement increased and sustained efforts to support diversity and inclusion of people with disability across your business.

We at Starting With Julius are so pleased to be able to say that we have been a part of Target’s journey in leading on diversity and inclusion in marketing.

You can watch the TV commercial below and Merry Christmas to ALL!

[Cover photo © Target Australia]

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