What do you think of when you think of autism? Due to gender stereotypes a lot of people automatically think of a male, someone like Sheldon or Rain Man. However, the most up-to-date research suggests the ratio of autistic women to men is closer than previously thought.
Outdated stereotypes and a lack of research and understanding mean that autistic women and non-binary people are often diagnosed late, misdiagnosed, overlooked totally, or don’t even consider a diagnosis themselves. Eighty percent of females remain undiagnosed at age 18, which has serious consequences on their mental health in adulthood. Ogilvy Health began to work with the National Autistic Society to help tackle this gender bias, and leverage autistic women and non-binary people’s stories to help others.
It quickly became clear after working closely with a steering group (including members of Ogilvy's employee network, Rewired) that we needed to ensure the campaign allowed autistic women to feel seen and heard due to so many of them feeling overlooked, not listened to, or misunderstood pre, post and during their diagnosis. Therefore, we developed the campaign to allow women and non-binary people to shape it around their individual story and experiences, in turn resonating with a diverse range of people across the spectrum.
Capturing a cause that's so vitally important and a trending topic on social platforms like TikTok, Ogilvy Health creative duo Tamsin Wills and Lydia Rylance Murdoch explained:
“The campaign’s language came directly from the mouths of autistic women and non-binary people. The campaign’s imagery is of autistic women and non-binary people, in their homes or preferred spaces, taken by an autistic photographer from Rankin Creative and featuring a shutter-release cable to give them ultimate control of their image. Even the backing soundtrack of the campaign video was written and recorded by an autistic woman."