PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — “Can I substitute fries for tater tots?” “Do you have this in a size 8-and-a-half?”
These are questions most people wouldn’t dread asking, but for someone with a stutter it can be agonizing. It’s something Portland native Aaron Marshall knows firsthand.
“If I’m eating out, I might order the wrong meal just because it’s easier to say,” said Marshall, a junior copywriter with BBDO.
He graduated from Portland State University in 2018 and after a stop in Atlanta, he landed at the BBDO creative agency in New York City. One day he ended up talking to the chief creative officer about what he wanted to do there.
“When he asked me that, I was very honest,” Marshall told KOIN 6 News. “I have a stutter and it’s had a big impact on my life and the way I approach advertising and approach my creative thinking.”
He began working on a 60-second PSA for the Stuttering Association for Youth. The video is the result of that hard work.
“It’s very humbling to have your first real campaign be a dream project,” he said. Marshall hopes the PSA will make people more empathetic and patient.
He said he related to a lot of things Joe Biden said on the presidential campaign trail about stuttering. For kids especially, Marshall said stuttering can be brutal.
“All I wanted was to raise awareness to get these kids to feel like their voice is important, that they’re valued,” he said. “If you happen to stutter or take longer to talk, there’s nothing wrong with that and should not be a factor in what you achieve.”