In partnership with RNIB, Channel 4 launches audio described ad break takeover during Paralympics

Remote control in the foreground pointing at a blurred TV screen

RNIB has worked with Channel 4 to raise awareness of audio description (AD) during the 2020 Paralympics. 

Channel 4’s multi-brand “AD Ad-Break” takeover will demonstrate the importance of AD. The campaign will have the brands Airbnb, BT Broadband, Experian, P&G brands (Gillette and Oral B) and Virgin Media split across two ad breaks within the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and The Last Leg on 24 August 2021, as well as during live coverage and highlights of the games on 25 August 2021.

The normal 10” adverts will be visually distorted – demonstrating what it’s like for someone with sight loss to watch TV using AD. Audiences will be directed to hear and engage with the AD recorded by presenter and comedian Alex Brooker. The campaign is designed to highlight the importance of audio description by raising awareness of its availability.

David Clarke, former Paralympian and Director of Services at RNIB, said: “The Paralympics is all about empowering people with disabilities and demonstrates what changes need to be made to make society more inclusive for those with sight loss and other disabilities. The fact that blind and partially sighted people watching the games from the comfort of their own homes will be able to engage with both the programmes and ad breaks at the same time as their sighted peers is a massive turning point in breaking down the barriers that still exist for people with sight loss. We’re extremely grateful to have had the chance to work with Channel 4 to make this happen.”

Throughout the Paralympics, RNIB Connect Radio will be broadcasting daily updates with thanks to Channel 4 for the use of their content. RNIB Connect Radio is also hoping to talk to some of the Team GB athletes throughout the games.

Verica Djurdjevic, Chief Revenue Officer at Channel 4, said: “We understand that not every advert can be produced with AD but we also know that many more can, which is why we are thrilled to team up with the RNIB and our advertisers to help find ways to improve awareness for this extremely important service. It’s vital Channel 4 ad-breaks are as inclusive as possible, and that blind and partially sighted people are able to enjoy the same TV experience as everyone else”.