Inclusive Advertising through the Soundtrack: Insights from People with Visual Impairments
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Today’s audiovisual advertising is heard more than seen, as many viewers feel overloaded with visual information or engage in multitasking while viewing. The fact that many viewers are not watching the screen is a problem that should concern the entire advertising industry. Are there technological solutions that enable us to hear what we do not see? Audio description (AD) is an established option in the field of visual impairment, but is it the only option to make advertising accessible to people who are not looking at the images? This study considers these questions, applying a methodology based on Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) and combining Grounded Theory and the focus group model as a data collection technique. Three focus groups ⎼two comprising people with a visual disability and the third made up of people without one explored the question of whether contemporary advertising has been drifting towards an exclusion of spectators with visual impairment. Participant responses were split between the view that commercials should incorporate AD but with clear improvements that take viewer opinion into account and the belief that advertising should return to its origins and make its soundtrack more explicit, perhaps rendering AD unnecessary.
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