If Channel 4’s goal was to draw eyes to the Paralympics in Rio, then they’ve certainly got our attention. Inspiring, audacious and with good will to spare.
With only two weeks until the opening of the Rio Olympics, the advertising world is limbering up for a fast-paced fortnight of flinging, fetching and general flame-carrying.
While they may have pulled ahead for an early lead, the Olympics ads race has a new feisty contender. Let’s meet the superhumans.
Celebrating its upcoming coverage of The Paralympic Games in Rio, Channel 4’s latest spot is a bold, vital and, most important of all, absurdly fun taste of what the Games have to offer.
Eschewing the notion that the Paralympics need consider itself a secondary event, the spot’s sense of joy is utterly infectious from the first moment.
Following 2012’s similarly popular release, director Dougal Wilson’s new effort expands the spot’s focus by looking beyond disabled athletes, to disabled people in all walks in life. This colourful journey begins with a swing band composed of disabled musicians, whose wheelchair-using crooner quickly zips down a ramp and into the unknown.
Under the cheery chorus of Sammy Davis Jr’s Yes I Can, we see people with various disabilities performing tasks from the mundane to the magnificent – brushing teeth, performing drum solos, eating breakfast and flying planes. In some cases, the editing and cinematography is so delightfully quick that you may need to pause and rewind to catch every little sequence.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that sports fans will go away disappointed. In fact, "We’re the superhumans" features cameos from sprinters, shot-putters, powerlifters, fencers, rugby players, archers and high jumpers (just to name a few).
Even though we’re exhausted just reading that list, it makes pretty thrilling viewing.
Faced with following up a smash-hit, agency 4Creative has clearly thought long and hard about what they want viewers to take away from this year’s effort. The result is an ad that feels empowering above all else.
"We’re the superhumans" feels like a technical step forward too, with far more complex sequences, hundreds of extras and a running time clocking in at a robust three minutes.
While the spot could overstay its welcome, 4Creative keeps its foot so firmly on the accelerator that there’s no chance of energy waning. While this Olympics will undoubtedly present a fair few lightning-paced odes to physical prowess, they’ll be hard pushed to keep up with this spot.
If Channel 4’s goal with "We’re the superhumans" was to draw eyes to the Paralympics in Rio, then they’ve certainly got our attention. Inspiring, audacious and with good will to spare, Channel 4 has produced the Rio ad to beat.