BBDO New York Tells ‘Jacob’s Story’ for Autism Speaks, Ad Council

By Erik Oster 

BBDO New York launched a new ad for the Ad Council and Autism Speaks, as part of its “Learn the Signs” campaign encouraging parents to learn and recognize early sings of autism in children.

The 60-second “Jacob’s Story” utilized 3D and stop-motion animation to tell the story of an autistic boy who didn’t speak until the age of four. “Jacob’s Story” uses metaphors as visual cues to teach viewers about signs of autism, such as avoidance of eye contact, delayed speech, repetitive behavior and sensitivity to light. Through its use of animation and storytelling, it’s able to do so in a compelling way, while still instructing viewers on what they should be watching out for and why, ending with the line, “Early intervention can make a lifetime of difference.”

BBDO worked with Lobo Productions on the ad, with the production company building the world seen in “Jacob’s Story” from scratch. The spot itself was inspired by interviews with Jacob and some of the creatures featured in the animation were inspired by his real toys. To learn more about the making of the ad, check out the “Behind-the-Scenes” feature below.