A new commercial from Johnson’s has taken social media by storm, despite the fact that the ad itself is very simple. What has people so excited? It beautifully showcases the perfect humanity of a baby with Down syndrome.
It’s not clear when the ad originally aired, or where, but it was shared by the Down Syndrome Centre Cork on Wednesday, and it’s racked up thousands of views. The commercial starts with glimpses of a beautiful child: a blue eye, chubby little toes. We see the tiny fingers exploring knees, a stomach, feet. We see light dappling through a blanket onto the baby’s back. Everything about this baby seems not only typical, but perfect.
Then, the camera zooms out, and we see what makes this baby special: he’s a little boy with Down syndrome. His face lights up the screen with a beautiful grin, and the ad closes with a tagline in Portuguese.
For us, and for all mothers, every baby is a Johnson’s baby.
The ad doesn’t make any kind of political statement, but it still says a lot. Even today, with all of the advancements medicine has made, people still overwhelmingly see Down syndrome as something to fear. The majority of babies diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome are aborted, with at least one country — Iceland — reaching an abortion rate of 100 percent.
The Johnson’s ad doesn’t even mention the words “Down syndrome,” but the message sent is very clear. This baby, who happens to have Down syndrome, is just like any other baby. He is beautiful, perfectly formed, happy and healthy and precious. It’s the kind of message that people need to hear… and, judging by the reaction on social media, it’s a message that resonates as well.