A CMO Show Blog Post
Campaign watch: Proof that a campaign CAN enact social change
A CMO Show Blog Post
Campaign watch: Proof that a...

What do you get when you bring together a unique creative brief, more than 140 talented individuals and an event that only comes around every four years? (No, it’s not the opener to a bad dad joke).

If you haven’t seen Channel 4’s latest campaign for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games then I urge you to get a move on. It’s a courageous and spirited look into the divisive world of ability and disability – and it’s influencing social change across the world.

An uplifting, eye-opening and bold creative piece, this year’s ‘We’re The Superhumans’ campaign goes above and beyond its 2012 predecessor to highlight the impressive abilities of more than 140 individuals from around the globe who are living with a disability.

From swing dancing and drumming, to flying planes and running track, the three minute musical video draws attention to the fact that this group of people can do anything, despite perhaps being told otherwise.

Of the 100 plus people who feature most prominently in the clip, 17 are musicians, 39 are Paralympians and 53 are non-athletes. And in keeping with the inclusive feel of the campaign, it features a mix of people from around the world – 78 from Britain and others from Australia, America, Brazil, Canada, Haiti, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

And with more than 6 million YouTube views alone, the catchy tune – a cover of Sammy Davis Jr.’s “Yes I Can” performed by Australian singer Tony Dee – is sure to stick with you long after watching.

Take a look for yourself:

The British public service broadcaster’s CMO Dan Brooke described the 2016 campaign as, “an unbridled celebration of ability, by both elite Paralympians and everyday people. In 2012, we saw athletes like never before, but now we see that Down syndrome graduates and wheelchair users in the workplace are just as superhuman as blind sprinters and amputee weightlifters.”

“With our unique remit to champion diversity, innovation and new talent, the Paralympics is a public service bullseye for Channel 4. This campaign is the most important we have ever undertaken and isn’t just about Rio, it’s about revolutionising public attitudes to disability forever,” he added.

The video, which was filmed over 12 days and produced by UK television station Channel 4’s creative agency 4Creative, is just a snapshot of a larger “We Are The Superhumans” campaign designed to “super-humanise” people living with disabilities – a campaign and conversation that is set to last long past the Paralympic Closing Ceremony.

The video is the most accessible ad ever produced by Channel 4 and includes subtitled, signed and audio described versions, available on across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The clip was also aired in cinemas throughout the UK, including signed and subtitled versions at cinemas holding hearing impaired screenings.

This campaign follows on from the success of Channel 4’s 2012 “Meet the Superhumans” campaign, which had huge public impact, helping to drive more than 11 million viewers to the opening night of the corporation’s live coverage of the London Paralympic Games. The multi-award-winning ad was named Campaign of the Year and, alongside Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning coverage of the Games, helped to change attitudes to disability sport and disability more generally – a social change that this year’s campaign looks sure to champion ever further.

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