Advertising can do more than just convince you to buy something. As Jamie Sumner and her son discovered during a trip to Target, it can also provide a sense of comfort by reminding you that you’re not alone.
Sumner, a writer who lives in Tennessee with her husband and three kids, recently took her son Charlie to Target for a routine shopping trip. Charlie is 6 years old and has cerebral palsy. One of the reasons Sumner likes taking him to Target is because he still fits into the shopping carts there, meaning she doesn’t have to bring his wheelchair into the store. She became an even bigger fan of the retail chain on April 19, when she posted a touching photo to Instagram of an in-store ad that was displayed in the children’s clothing section.
Check it out below and see if you can figure out why this simple photo meant such a great deal to the pair:
The ad, for Target’s children’s fashion line, Cat & Jack, shows a well-dressed, smiling boy using a walker. It’s subtle, but in her Instagram post, Sumner said it made Charlie “smile and clap and sign for ‘more.'”
In a blog post Sumner wrote about the experience, she said that seeing their “normal” in such a prominent place made them both feel so at home.
“I watched Charlie watch the sign,” Sumner wrote at Her View From Home. “I watched the recognition of kin for kin, like for like. And it was beautiful. Yes, I started crying in the aisle.”
She said her tears made other shoppers stop, look and smile.
“I spend so much mental, emotional and physical effort making sure Charlie is included,” she continued. “It was with a surreal sense of relief that I realized here, at least, he already was.”
The moment clearly touched many people, as her photo of the ad has been liked more than 1,000 times on Instagram.
Ads like that one aren’t the only way Target has been striving to make its stores more inclusive. In February 2016, the company announced it would be introducing Caroline’s Cart—a shopping cart designed for people with special needs—at its stores across the U.S.
As Sumner wrote, “It sounds like such a small thing, but for us it is a nod from the world that we are being acknowledged and supported.”