One of Sri Lanka’s most respected brands, Maliban initiated yet another first when the brand aired Sri Lanka’s first ever Sign Language TV commercial, in celebration of the World Sign Language Day on 23rd of September 2020. Understanding the pressing need to connect with the forgotten in the society, Maliban, together with their creative partner TBWA\Sri Lanka, created this one-off TV commercial to raise awareness about the World Sign Language Day. Maliban created two commercials, one of which was for the masses while the Sign Language commercial, which was specifically made for the deaf and mute community, was aired for a limited time.
Deaf and mute community consists of over 466 million amounting to 5% of the global population with the number of individuals exceeding 389,000 in Sri Lanka. Although contributing citizens of society and everyday consumers, the deaf and mute individuals are a market demographic that has repeatedly been overlooked by brands in the country, resulting in them being marginalized in society as organizations have repeatedly forgotten them as consumers.
Speaking on behalf of the company, Yugantha Sooriyaarachchi, Brand Manager of Maliban Biscuits Manufactories said “As a brand deeply rooted in the hearts of all Sri Lankans, it was our pleasure to communicate this important message about an inclusive society on the World Sign Language Day 2020. We are very happy to note that our special edition TV Commercial has been well received, not only by the deaf community but also by the society as a whole. It’s a sign that our efforts to create awareness about inclusivity have been fruitful”
Being a first, Maliban’s one-off TV commercial has achieved on two fronts; the first is that it has acknowledged and communicated to a forgotten community and the second is that by celebrating the deaf community on the International Day of Sign Languages, the community itself was made visible to society, whilst giving the message that inclusion is important. These two factors have contributed to the commercial instantly gaining mass appeal and commendation from both the hearing and hearing-impaired alike.