Channel 4’s ad for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro (above) is the symbol of positivity that we need right now. It seems that there’s a ever-flowing feed of tragedy, confusion, anger and sadness across TV, online and social media right now – and we desperately need something hopeful and uplifting.
Titled We’re The Superhumans, the 2016 Channel 4 Paralympics ad is in a similar vein to 2012’s Meet The Superhumans – which succeeded in being more memorable than anything from the Olympics that preceded it (along with the cheeky Thanks for Warm Up poster campaign). You can see this at the end of this story.
Where Meet The Superhumans focussed on the athletes, 2016’s We’re The Superhumans also includes scenes of everyday life – including showing how people have found different solutions to tasks that they’re not able to do in the same way that able-bodied people can, such as a woman holding a child or flying a plane with their feet.
The ad is based around a cover of Sammy Davis Jr's Yes I Can, performed by a band of disabled performers including singer Tony Dee. The song will be available to buy from wearethesuperhumans.com from Saturday 16th July, with profits going to the British Paralympic Association.
Meet The Superhumans is already receiving wide praise on social media, with Someone co-founder Simon Manchipp calling it “ad of the year” and even the Arthur Smith of of advertising, Dave Trott, tweeting that it's "really, really is excellent. For once something that actually deserves all the awards going"
The ad was produced by Channel 4’s in-house studio 4Creative and directed by Blink Production’s Dougal Wilson.
The 2016 Rio Paralympics runs from on September 7-18, following the Olympics from August 5-21. Coverage will be hosted by Clare Balding, The Last Leg’s Adam Hill, Breaking Bad actor RJ Mitte, broadcaster Sophie Morgan, former marine commando JJ Chalmers, wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan, ex Royal Marine Arthur Williams, Formula One presenter Lee McKenzie and former Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards.