The Problem: According to Bekol, an Israeli-based organization founded in 1997 by and for people with hearing loss, an estimated 800,000 people in Israel suffer from some form of hearing loss. With that comes social anxiety, exclusion, and isolation for those who feel they can’t interact normally with the world.
The Approach: Bekol teamed up with BBR Saatchi & Saatchi to launch a series of ads that take advantage of Facebook’s in-feed video format in a unique and effecting way. Each video (which starts to play silently until clicked) features innocuous imagery—a woman surfing, a child being tucked into bed—that is then revealed to be accompanied by sinister and unsettling music (a third version pulls a switch, pairing what looks like a distressing scene with jaunty music). “If you’ve turned on the sound, and this video still looks fun to you…you’d better get your hearing checked” reads a caption over the video.
The Feel Good: Despite the jokey approach, Bekol’s work has resulted in the successful legislation of a the Law for Equal Rights For People With Disabilities in Israel, pushed the government and broadcasting networks to mandate TV subtitles in all broadcasts, and have grown large enough to sponsor Hearing Day Programs that provide broad outreach in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. In addition, the Bekol hotline service provides support—both technical and emotional—to some 3,000 people in the region every year.