20 AUG 2021
5 MIN READ
There’s less than a week to go and the world is ready for another incredible Paralympics.
What started in 1948 with a small group of British WW2 veterans has grown to become one of the largest international sporting events of the 21st century. The Paralympics is a global phenomenon, showcasing the incredible sporting prowess of some of the world’s greatest athletes. Whilst there is still a large funding gap between the Paralympics and Olympics, there’s no doubt that support for and interest in Paralympians has grown considerably since the humble beginnings. This week we’re looking at several stories in the run-up to 24th August, from the inspiring to the totally off-beat.
#WeThe15 campaign is a long-term initiative supported by 20 international organisations such as UNESCO to ensure that the interests of 1.2 billion disabled people (15% of the global population) are heard loud and clear. The spot launched five days ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and will be screened by broadcasters around the world during the Paralympic Games. Brand partners including BP, Coca-Cola and Facebook will also transform their logos, campaigns, and social platforms to display a 15% purple hue in a further show of support.
Paralympic and Olympic mascots failing to find fans in Japan
Every hometown in Japan has what they call a ‘yuru-chara.’ These mascots have large followings and have been something of a phenomenon in the last 10 years. The most notorious, Chiitan from the town of Susaki, has a following of 900,000 on Instagram and was once suspended from Twitter for its ‘violent antics.’ In short, mascots are big in Japan. Spare a thought then for Someity, the Paralympics’ mascot, and its Olympics mascot buddy, Miraitowa. They were supposed to be the face of the games with a key role in corporate branding and merchandising, but the public response to the pair has been ‘underwhelming.’ With only 15,000 Instagram followers between them, they’ll need to channel some Paralympic spirit if they’re ever going to catch up with likes of Chiitan.
It’s rude not to stare
Channel 4 have been instrumental in engaging the public’s interest in the Paralympics over the years. Their long-form TV copy is something to look forward to watching ahead of each Paralympic Games, and it gets better each time. This year, their TV campaign didn’t disappoint, but they also created a striking Print and OOH campaign. It’s Rude Not to Stare is clever, bold, and direct; playing on the etiquette non-disabled people are taught as children, while also encouraging everyone to cheer on the athletes in this year’s Games.
To support the campaign they have also created some exclusive content across their social channels including these #inclusivefitnesshacks on TikTok below.