Paralympics in the Media

I love the Paralympics. Not only for the competitions but for the promotion that comes from it and the positive changes we get to enjoy, even if it's just for a little while.

So much has changed since the shameful actions of the Sinful Six in Atlanta in 1996 when some companies declined to sponsor the Paralympics and then added insult to injury by refusing to release their sponsorship rights to other companies who did want to participate. Now we're seeing ads featuring recognizable athletes with strong back stories from known brands and not only are they exciting, they're inviting and insightful - making people interested on a deeper level.

"They want to win a medal". That is according to Carlo Cavallone from 72andSunny in Amsterdam, the agency that created the "What's Your Problem" Samsung ad for the 2014 Paralympic Games. In an interview by David Gianatasio in an article in he makes note of the absolute bottom line of Paralympians - they are there to win medals and to clarify for those who still don't get it, he refines it further by adding they don't go to make a "statement about their disability".

The Samsung ad is one of many being put out by Paralympic sponsors to support their brand at the Games, and the trend is obvious - fast, higher, stronger applies to us as well.

After the stereotype shattering success of Channel 4's promotion and coverage of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and the widely touted Meet the Superhumans video, it makes sense that other companies would follow suit and bring their top talent on board to make some attention (and dollar) catching ads.

Meet the Superhumans

The Sochi ad is just as slick:

Quite a few other companies see the value of the event and the athletes themselves as brands and public icons and are including disabled athletes in their marketing.

Proctor and Gamble has the "Thank You Mom - Tough Love" ad by Wieden + Kennedy

the Canadian Paralympic team Air Canada ad What's There by BBDO Toronto -

Natalia Vodianova: #Neverstop on

BP - Team USA American Energy

AT&T Heath Calhoun monoskiing by BBDO

Have you seen a great Paralympic ad? If so please let me know so I can include it here!