Stories: Together for more togetherness

Two people who have never met before meet to talk. One of them has an intellectual disability. What happens? This experiment has made Stories the subject of the awareness campaign of the parents' association Insieme.

The results are surprising, touching and funny moments captured on film, which are now shared and spread via social media.

The aim of the new Insieme awareness campaign is to positively influence the public's perception of people with intellectual disabilities. The Zurich-based production company Stories developed a concept for this purpose that does justice to the claim of eliminating widespread prejudices and fear of contact in an entertaining and emotionally touching way at the same time.

A spot that "sells" not product but the stimulus to think about it

"We show real people, real arguments and therefore also real feelings. We use a simple experiment to prove how unnecessarily uptight our everyday behavior towards people with mental disabilities usually is," says Stories director Tobias Fueter about the campaign's approach. The campaign is based on a spot that lets viewers take part in an encounter between disabled and non-disabled people that they themselves did not foresee. Under the pretext of a "social experiment", test persons were sought for the encounter with a respective unknown counterpart. They only learned afterwards that they were being filmed during the arranged meeting in the café. They were also asked about their expectations and feelings both before and after the encounter. Without exception, all the participants described the experience as enriching and agreed to its publication. "Five minutes are enough to experience that people with intellectual disabilities are simply people 'like you and me'," one participant summed up her experience - and with her statement provided the title of the campaign.

Prominent supporters

Numerous prominent supporters could also be won over for the experiment. Among others, TV and radio presenter Nik Hartmann, author and radio host Reeto von Gunten and DJ Rock Gitano were ready for a filmed encounter. Likewise, they are now participating in the viral spread of the spot via social networks; various other well-known people will continue the action in the coming days. "The campaign encourages more openness without raising the index finger. I think that's great," says Reeto von Gunten, explaining the motivation.

In addition to distribution via social media, the spot is also available on to see. The microsite offers interested parties additional footage of the encounters and interviews with the subjects. The website was designed and implemented by the Zurich digital agency Hinderling Volkart. Roland Sutter, partner of Roth Observatory International, supported Insieme in the selection of suitable communication partners.

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