By Malay Desai
From: 4Creative, London
A follow-up to last year’s ‘Meet the superhumans’ campaign, this promo film from UK's Channel 4 built up to the Sainsbury Athletic Games past weekend. Following the same tone where Paralympic athletes are shown as gritty, hard-working achievers, this spot features four of great Britain’s finest participants in their training routines this year. Addressing each one by surname with copy in big bold type face appearing on screen (‘One leg? Don’t care run faster Pearson’), it intimidates the athletes and shows. Them in various moods – mostly despair at underachievement. The all black-and-white spot ends with Channel 4’s logo.
Why we like
Last week, Devendra Jhajharia of Rajasthan became the first Indian with disability to win gold at the World Athletics Championships in France. Chances are that you haven’t heard about the javelin thrower, who’s an Olympic record holder too. Don’t wallow in too much guilt though, for our broadcasters haven’t bothered to showcasehim or the other Paralympic athletes. Let’s talk of those from the West who have. Stunningly.
The national broadcaster of UK, Channel 4’s‘Meet the Superhumans’ campaign before the Olympics last year introduced the region to outstanding athletes with disabilities, and deservingly won the Cannes Grand Prix. This time, the occasion isn’t as big, but the efforts are.
Promos of upcoming sporting events have it easy; adrenaline – check, racy music – check, hero showcase – check, and we have a decent shot at TRPs. But they also work under the cloud of monotony, plus risk looking and sounding like their past selves or one another. They also carry the challenge to reach out to wider audiences, as the interested viewers are anyway going to tune in. This ampaignal ready had a recall thanks to last year, but it has done the same thing it’s preaching - raised the bar.
The black-and-white treatment does wonders to amplify the heroes’ go getter vibe. The four personalities: two wheelchair athletes, a wheelchair rugby player anda blade runner, all stars of GB’s Olympic campaign, are intimidated, challenged to push their limits in an almost impolite way by Brit standards. The soundtrack Treat me like your Motheradds even more energy.
The X-factor here is that none of the athletes are shown winning/celebrating/even smiling. Neither are the visuals too adrenaline-pumped. In fact the small moments such as blood dripping on a bathroom floor make this spot incredibly powerful.It’s a one-minute pep talk for any sportsperson, if not professional.
The sports promo segment here has produced some remarkable works of late – the World Series Hockey (Neo) and Women’s Cricket World Cup (Star) for instance. We’re even liking the Indian Badminton League’s digs at cricket this week.But we still want to ask ‘That’s all you got?’
To watch this film, feed this easy-link into your browser: bit.ly/Channel4ad