Can the CPC create Paralympic household names?

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is driving attention for the upcoming Games with a new star-studded campaign.

Canadian Paralympic Committee -Sponsorships--We-re Here- Top Par

There is nothing unconventional about the Paralympics except for the athletes themselves, says the (CPC) in its new “We’re Here” campaign.

By highlighting the stardom of the athletes as opposed to their athletic ability the committee hopes that the Paralympics will start to receive the same amount of attention as the Olympic Games.

Dan Koutoulakis, VP, planning at BBDO Toronto says that past Paralympic campaigns concentrated on demonstrating the high performance capability and toughness of the athletes. This year, he says the emphasis is less on the sport and more on the athletes themselves with the goal of making them household names.

“The campaign is really about elevating the athletes, and giving them the iconic cultural status that they deserve,” he says.

A fast-paced commercial features Paralympic legends like basketballer Patrick Anderson waving at a crowd in a packed stadium, Gold medal-winning swimmer Katarina Roxon posing on the red carpet, and hockey captain Tyler McGregor’s picture on a cereal box at a family’s breakfast.

Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 9.49.48 AM

Koutoulakis says by focusing on the diversity of athletes with disabilities, the new campaign is in line with the CPC’s goal of inclusion and representation. “The Canadian Paralympic Committee has been a champion of diversity and inclusion. It felt appropriate to bring that to the forefront of our messaging of celebrity iconography with a different energy, something we haven’t done as explicitly in the past.”

The campaign initially made its debut during CBC’s broadcast of the Stanley Cup Finals. It is also running on Sportsnet, Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), Facebook and Twitter leading up to the Tokyo Paralympics, which starts August 24, and will continue to air during the Games until September 5.

CBC is set to cover the Paralympic Games as part of its primetime programming this summer, a first for the  event in Canada.

With the postponement of the 2020 Games due to COVID-19, and with the Winter Games just a few months away, the committee is able to reinforce its messaging during a concentrated period, says Koutoulakis.

The campaign is a collaboration between the CPC and BBDO Canada, with production led by Flare BBDO, Rooster Post handling editing and TA2 Music + Sound on licensing and sound design.

Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 9.50.24 AM