Special Olympics Northern California’s new awareness campaign addresses the preconceived notions of what it’s like to live with an intellectual disability as an athlete.
The organization worked with Barrett Hofherr and production company Avocados & Coconuts on a video featuring real athletes reclaiming the word “special.” “Special isn’t what we are. It’s what we do,” they say.
“Our first major brand campaign helps redefine what it means to be ‘special’ within the Special Olympics movement and is designed to ignite momentum in our larger NorCal community,” said David Solo, Special Olympics NorCal president and CEO, in a statement. “This campaign captures the joy and spirits of our inspiring athletes while opening the hearts and minds of our audiences to make inclusion a part of their everyday lives.”
The campaign launch coincides with the annual Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games in Santa Clara.
Media agency Ways & Means helped air “Do Something Special” with donated broadcast, cinema, streaming audio, digital, out-of-home and social media throughout Northern California. All footage is from sporting events in Northern California with most of the footage captured by athletes during the competitions, according to the organization.
“The word ‘special’ has become a label that too often marginalizes when it’s meant to celebrate,” Jamie Barrett, founder of Barrett Hofherr, said in a statement. “This campaign—and more specifically the athletes themselves—seeks to confront that misperception head on.”
As part of the campaign, Special Olympics also created a content hub with tools and information on how the public can engage and volunteer with the organization.