More mainstream TV ads neededOct 08 03:54
There’s a serious lack of cool, edgy mainstream TV ads for mobility products out there. Sure, you’ll cool print ads in New Mobility, but not on TV. In fact, the only ad for a mainstream mobility product I can think of are those awful commercials for Hoveround wheelchairs that air during daytime television. Every time one of these ads runs, another person’s negative disability stereotypes are cemented.
Its no secret the target audience for Hoveround commercials are the elderly. So it makes sense they only show gleeful seniors zooming around like crazy people who are suddenly free. The thing is though is that the media defines, even establishes stereotypes. These commercials only show one slice of the disability experience. We need another wheelchair commercial out there, something cooler and more youthful, to counter-balance the Hoveround smear campaign.
Colours Wheelchair is the wheelchair company that comes to mind when I think of the right company for the job. Colours specializes in pimp, blinged out manual wheelchairs and has hired an army of badass wheelchair-users to be their representatives (see site). If on a daily basis there are always more young people who need wheelchairs, then isn’t that enough to get these ads on TV too? I get sick of hearing, “There’s no money to be made if we do it,” or “There’s no profit.” I think more companies should give it a test run before nixing the idea before they even try it. Negative ninnies.
Braun, the makers of Entervan adapted mini-vans, is the first mobility company to create a mainstream commercial I don’t cringe at. The ad shows a middle-aged guy in a wheelchair who's married and needs a vehicle for his active life; a van that can take him everywhere he wants to go, to out for coffee with friends to the river to go kayaking.
Will this ad start a trend? We can only hope. Watch the Braun ad here.
Know of any cool mobility ads?
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.