Scope spoofs the Milk Tray adverts for its Great Donate summer stock appeal

The comedian Adam Hills and the presenter Holly Valance bring the iconic adverts back to life

The comedian Adam Hills stars in Scope's online spoof of Cadbury’s Milk Tray adverts
The comedian Adam Hills stars in Scope's online spoof of Cadbury’s Milk Tray adverts

What is it?

The disability charity Scope has released an online spoof of the famous Cadbury’s Milk Tray adverts to encourage people to donate clothes and goods to their shops.

The disabled comedian Adam Hills is cast as the dashing Man in Black and the actor and presenter Holly Valance as his leading lady. Rather than featuring  sequences on speedboats, in shark-infested waters and helicopters, the action for Scope’s advert is set at an English country house. Hills, who was born without a right foot and wears a prosthesis, faces a pack of "dangerous" dachshunds and scales ivy-clad walls. Instead of leaving a box of chocolates, he makes his move by dropping off a Scope donation bag and calling card – "all because Scope loves your donations".

Where is it being promoted?

The film is being promoted through Scope’s social media channels on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #GreatDonateHero. Hills and Valance have also been tweeting about the film and sharing the link with their followers.

Scope is also promoting online calling cards – people send them to friends, asking them go give away some of the clothes they no longer wear partly as a way of decluttering their wardrobes.

Scope’s 240 high-street charity shops have posters featuring the stars of the film in their stores. Shop managers are contacting local and regional media to publicise the campaign. 

Why now?

The film was released on Monday, two days before the charity launched its Great Donate summer stock appeal. Scope has a target of receiving one million items by the end of July.

Anything else?

Scope hopes to build on the success of last year’s Strip for Scope appeal, an online spoof of Levi's launderette advert from the 1980s – the charity's version features the disabled model Jack Eyers. It had nearly 200,000 hits on YouTube and helped Scope to win two Charity Retail Association awards.

Scope hopes that the use of a disabled leading man will challenge attitudes to disability. This fits with Scope’s End the Awkward campaign, which is running throughout the summer and uses humour to challenge attitudes to disability.

How successful is it?

The film has had more than 24,000 views across all platforms and has reached nearly 62,000 people on Facebook in the first four days.

What the charity says

Chris Carr, digital film and media manager at Scope, says: "We found using a spoof of a famous advert was a great hook on which to hang our annual stock appeal. But we needed a concept that involved the action of giving or donating. When I was growing up, the original Milk Tray adverts were some of my favourite commercials. In the adverts, he leaves the box of chocolates and a calling card – so it seemed a good fit for the Great Donate appeal.

"It was also a great way to have a disabled role model or high-profile disabled person playing an assertive and active role. The film has nostalgic value, but it’s also quite funny and different. We wanted to get cut-through on social media so that people would share the film."

Third Sector verdict

The film is fast-paced and amusing, and there is a twist when Valance, the love interest, turns up at the end. Blink and you could miss Hills' prosthetic foot, but it’s great to see a disabled man cast as a cartwheeling hero.

It’s not as clever as last year’s Levi’s-inspired advert and will perhaps not get as many drooling women posting it on social media. But the film is entertaining, and creatively gets across its message to donate to Scope’s charity shops.

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