Jeremy Irons Celebrates Dyslexic Innovators in New Work by DDB Melbourne

Non-profit Made By Dyslexia makes space for the 'square pegs' of the world

As many people with dyslexia can relay, the world isn’t particularly well-equipped to accommodate those that experience this common reading disability. With plenty of horror stories of communities and institutions that simply did not understand dyslexia, working to reshape the world to empower dyslexic thinkers is the next step forward.

Encouraging schools to allow teachers to “Take a Day to Learn Dyslexia,” the nonprofit advocacy group Made By Dyslexia teamed with DDB Melbourne to release a 70-second spot narrated by acclaimed actor Jeremy Irons, explaining the necessity of empowerment in the classroom.

Titled “Square Pegs,” the short largely features a series of spheres being dropped into corresponding holes. “This is a round hole,” Irons’ narration begins. “Our schools are filled with round holes because a large majority of students fit snugly within them.”

He further describes the reality that many dyslexic people experience, noting that schools often assume that if you don’t fit the uniformity of the system, there must be something wrong with you. He then asks, “What if all those ‘round hole’ people were wrong?”

(Captions for the video have not been made available to Adweek. We will update the video once captions have been provided.)DDB Melbourne, Made by Dyslexia

Thinking outside the round hole

Illustrating that simply by virtue of existing outside of a normative box, you might be able to develop a unique understanding of the world and gain skill sets that allow for innovative problem-solving that could potentially change the way things are done. Highlighting several famous people known to be dyslexic, like Albert Einstein, Kiera Knightly and Muhammed Ali, the spot ends on the encouragement that reshaping our way of doing things is well within reach.

With in-house research indicating that only one in 10 teachers globally understand the unique strengths associated with dyslexia, the organization teamed with Microsoft to offer an online training program for educators. This occurs in the lead-up to a December speech the U.K. Parliament will give, urging lawmakers to make dyslexia training mandatory for teachers.

“It’s exactly the right time to tell governments globally that we need to reshape education to fit our most gifted thinkers,” Made By Dyslexia founder and CEO Kate Griggs said in a statement. “This film will kick off our short, sharp agitation campaign targeting all members of the U.K. government and shadow cabinet, as well as being used globally to get the important message across.”


Client: Made By Dyslexia

Founder: Kate Griggs
Strategist: Shirley Short
Events and marketing manager: Isabelle Higham
Head of PR and campaigns: Lauren Hunt-Morgan

Agency: DDB Group Melbourne

CCO: Stephen de Wolf
Ecd: Psembi Kinstan
Creative directors: Giles Watson and James Cowie
Creatives: Olivia Daniele and Gabrielle Sandel
Senior lead agency producer: Sonia McLaverty
Managing partner: Pippa O’Regan
Senior business manager: Oliver Corcoran

Production company: Photoplay/Playtime

Director: Dropbear
Ep: Oliver Lawrance
Producer: Tom Slater
Director of photography: Cesar Salmeron
Editor: Dropbear

Post: The Editors

Colorist: Trish Cahill
Composer: Josie Mann

Sound post: Sonar Music

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