We’ve all read the disheartening stat that approximately 16% of the world’s population, or about 1 billion people, live with disabilities. Among the 1 billion people worldwide with disabilities, a staggering 80 percent lived in developing countries, making them among the hardest hit by the global health crisis.
In a world where disabilities affect a significant portion of the population, advertising has often failed to accurately represent the lives of individuals with disabilities. However, at the end of 2022, Apple took a bold step forward with its new ad campaign and made waves globally. The ad titled, “The Greatest” featured a diverse group of people with disabilities and showcased how technology could empower and enhance their lives. This infectious and heartwarming ad challenged not only the norms of advertising but also highlighted the true strength that technology brings to improve the access of opportunities for disabled people.
Against this backdrop, Apple’s latest ad campaign served as a beacon of hope and inclusivity. Directed by the talented Kim Gehrig, the ad featured seven individuals with different disabilities—vision, hearing, mobility, and cognitive—navigating everyday life with the assistance of Apple devices and technologies.
Image Source: Apple
Released on YouTube, the ad quickly amassed millions of views, and gained widespread attention due to its creative excellence and infectious spirit. With its global media prowess and widespread social reach, Apple effectively raised awareness on an unprecedented scale. Furthermore, the spot’s powerful message and artistic brilliance made it highly shareable, amplifying its reach organically.
The ad’s soundtrack held a special significance, as its lyrics were inspired by the speeches of the legendary Muhammad Ali, who became a disability advocate following his battle with Parkinson’s disease. The Australian choral group, Spinifex Gum, performed the song, which was then remixed by Cola Boyy. The spot also featured improvisational piano by Matthew Whitaker, adding an extra layer of depth and emotion.
Image Source: Apple
While Apple was renowned for its product-focused advertisements, “The Greatest” boldly placed accessibility features at the forefront. This positioned Apple as a genuine partner to people with disabilities, allowing the company to authentically celebrate the creativity. Apple’s ad not only triumphed in representation but also reframed disabilities as sources of strength. It showcased individuals with disabilities as heroes who constantly overcame adversity at every turn.
Apple’s groundbreaking ad campaign, “The Greatest,” challenged societal norms and shattered barriers by celebrating the strength, resilience, and capabilities of individuals with disabilities. This awe-inspiring message of inclusivity, brilliantly brought to life through Apple’s exceptional creative work and technological prowess, made a lasting impact and inspired positive change. It has not only revolutionized the advertising industry but also shattered misconceptions that unjustly restrict disabled individuals from accessing genuine opportunities.