"We're the Superhumans" by Channel 4's in-house agency 4Creative in the U.K., has won the Film Grand Prix at Cannes.
Directed by Blink's Dougal Wilson, the film promoted the broadcaster's coverage of the 2016 Paralympics. It opens on stage with a Rat Pack-era-style outfit, "The Superhumans Band," comprising disabled musicians from around the world. Then the spot features scene after scene of accomplished individuals, including Paralympians who make high jumps, score goals, lift barbells and shoot arrows. With every step, the stars of the ad gleefully sing, chant or grunt, "Yes, I can."
"The most important thing is it pushes humanity forward," said Pete Favat, president of the Film jury and chief creative officer of Deutsch North America. This was the first Grand Prix this week for "We're the Superhumans," but the spot was a contender in the earlier Film Craft category. Read more about the judging over at AdAge.com.
"We're the Superhumans" ranked in the top five picks of Creativity's best TV/Film/Branded content ideas of the year. Channel 4's 2012 Paralympics ad "Meet the Superhumans," also earned a Cannes Grand Prix in Film/Craft in 2013.
U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, which captured hearts and accolades with its powerful "Meet the Superhumans" Paralympics ad from 2012, returns with another fabulous film promoting its coverage of this year's Rio event. This time, however, it's a fun-filled, Broadway-inspired extravaganza featuring superhumans not just from the sports arena, but from all walks of life.
The ad, "We're the Superhumans" was created out of 4Creative and directed by Blink's Dougal Wilson, perhaps best known for his tear-jerking, heart-tugging spots for John Lewis. It opens on stage with a Rat Pack-era-style outfit, "The Superhumans Band," comprising disabled musicians from around the world and led by Tony Dee. They perform a cover of Sammy Davis Jr.'s "Yes I Can" and launch into a wild array of scenes of accomplished individuals not just from the sports world, but in the wider world out there too. Paralympians make high jumps, score goals, lift barbells and shoot arrows while everyday folks pump gas, take notes, eat cereal, fly airplanes -- just as easily as their counterparts who happen to have arms and legs would.
With every step, the stars of the ad gleefully sing, chant or grunt, "Yes, I can," putting to shame the more tame "I think I can" saying from that popular children's storybook.
Distinctive directorial choices and expert editing make for a joyous, wild ride, punctuated with clever details like a moment of silence in which a deaf woman signs the song's lyrics and a quick cut from the middle of a crazy wheelchair jump to a simple bathroom moment in which an armless man brushes his teeth.
"In a Britain where everything seems a bit less certain and, at times, less caring, we wanted to create a huge powerful Superhuman message of positivity," said 4creative Creative Director Alice Tonge in a statement. "Whether you're blind and you're running at the Rio Paralympics or you're a double leg amputee and you've got to get the bus every morning to work, being a Superhuman is a state of mind. It's time to stop focusing on disability and focus on superability instead."
"It's been a labour of love from everyone involved -- the marketing team, our in-house creative and production teams in 4creative and our media agency OMD UK, not to mention the incredible work by Blink and Dougal Wilson," added Channel 4 Head of Marketing James Walker.
The "Yes, I Can" cover was recorded at Abbey Road studios and will be released by Universal Music, with all profits going to the British Paralympics Association.