Channel 4’s new advertising campaign for the Paralympics shows the “blood, sweat, sacrifices and dedication” of the athletes, the broadcaster has announced.
The games, which were initially delayed because of the pandemic, will take place from August 24 in Tokyo.
The campaign – titled Super. Human – focuses on the “fragilities and day to day struggles” of the athletes, “putting the emphasis on ‘human’ over ‘super’”, Channel 4 said in a statement.
The film begins with cyclist Kadeena Cox dreaming about her performance in the 2016 games before a starting pistol wakes her from her sleep.
Other Paralympians including swimmer Ellie Simmonds and cyclist Jody Cundy also feature in the advert.
Channel 4 will broadcast more than 300 hours of Paralympics content this summer.
Comedian Alex Brooker said Channel 4’s Paralympics adverts mean “so much” to disabled people. The Last Leg presenter hosted a launch event for the advert. He told the event: “As disabled people, to see us represented in this way every four years means so much to us.”
Wheelchair rugby player Kylie Grimes, who features in the advert, told the event she “jumped at the chance” to star in it. “To be seen like that every four years is incredible,” she added. “This is my third Paralympics and I couldn’t wait to be involved.”
The advert was directed by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young. He said: “I’m really happy and really proud with what we were able to achieve with the film. “I think everything that I imagined it would be, it’s actually that in the most imperfect and perfect way.”
Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said: “Channel 4 continues to set the benchmark for how all other broadcasters around the world cover the Paralympics, not just in terms of Games-time coverage and the diversity of on-screen talent, but with regards to engagement and promotion.
“With this latest campaign, Channel 4 have raised the standard once more, promoting the Paralympics on an equal footing as any other major global sport event.
“It is testament to Channel 4’s outstanding commitment to Paralympic broadcasting and promotion that Paralympians are household names in the UK and British TV features more on-screen talent with disabilities than any other country. The fact every other Paralympic broadcaster around the world always asks, ‘What are Channel 4 doing to promote the Games?’ underlines the glowing reputation they have developed since 2012.”
Channel 4 chief marketing officer Zaid Al-Qassab added: “Channel 4 has been instrumental in putting the Paralympics onto the world stage. Our award-winning coverage and epic marketing campaigns have possibly done more to help shift society’s perceptions around disability than anything else in the last 20 years. And our hope is that this powerful and provocative film will once again stir viewers and continue Channel 4’s legacy of challenging attitudes and giving a voice to those with disabilities.”
The advert will first air on Channel 4 on Friday 23rd July 2021 shortly before 9pm.
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