LONDON 2012: Channel 4 Paralympics campaign wins major awards

Channel 4’s ‘Meet The Superhumans’ tag-line for the London 2012 Paralympic Games has emerged as one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the year after winning a host of awards.

As well as sweeping the board at the Promax Awards and the British Television Advertising Awards, Channel 4’s innovative work on promoting the Paralympics has also been given the prestigious Campaign of the Year award by Campaign magazine.

The 90-second ‘Meet the Superhumans’ trailer, which was made by its in-house marketing team 4Creative, took 15-days to shoot and features a series of thought-provoking images, including a bomb blast which left a British soldier disabled, a car crash and a pregnant mother being told that her baby will be born with a disability.

The trailer also featured ParalympicsGB stars Ellie Simmonds, Jody Cundy, Jonnie Peacock, as well as South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius.

‘Meet the Superhumans’ formed part of Channel 4’s major advertising campaign building up to the Paralympic Games, where it broadcast more than 500 hours of live coverage across the 12-day event.

The Paralympics was Channel 4’s biggest broadcasting event in its 30-year history and they provided the most extensive UK TV coverage ever dedicated to the Paralympic Games.

Commenting on Channel 4’s approach, Campaign said: “Rather than just being ‘the bit after the Olympics’ contested by people that elicit pity, the Paralympics became an event in itself fought by people who inspire awe.

“And so, in the space of just a few weeks, Channel 4’s ‘Meet the Superhumans’ campaign changed the way that people in this country view disability – hopefully forever.”

4Creative also won the best TV and Cinema advert for the ‘Meet the Superhumans’ trailer.

The 90-second promo was described as a ‘goosebump-inducing piece of film… that adroitly upturns preconceived notions about the event, finally giving disabled athletes the billing they deserve’.

4Creative also had two entries in the top 10 poster ads of the year, with Homeland (3rd) and the Paralympics ‘Thanks for the Warm-Up’ (8th).

Channel 4’s work also dominated the prestigious PromaxUK awards, which recognise the work of the marketing and creative professionals who promote television channels and programmes.

They took gold for Best Direction as well as for Best Sports Promo, Best Editing, Best Launch and Best Long Form.

The trailer also did well at the British Arrow Craft Awards, which recognise the best British moving-image adverts, where director Tom Tagholm receieved a gold award.

Channel 4’s Paralympics theme music also scooped the gold award for recorded music, awarded to Tagholm and Tim Hardy.

‘Harder Than You Think’ by hip hop legends Public Enemy, originally released in 2007, provided the soundtrack to both the ‘Meet the Superhumans’ trailer and Channel 4’s daily coverage of the Games.

The Paralympic Games consistently broke Channel 4 audience records, including the 11.2 million who watched the Opening Ceremony, which was its highest viewing figures for 10 years.

It maintained a strong audience share across its coverage during the Games, including attracting audience of 4.5m when Brazil’s Alan Oliveira beat South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius to gold in the T44 200m final.

That was eclipsed when 6.3m tuned in to watch Britain’s Jonnie Peacock win the 100m gold in the T44.

Channel 4 beat the BBC to claim the broadcast rights to the 2012 Paralympics, and is expected to retain them for the Rio Paralympics in 2016.

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