Channel 4 Superhumans at Rio 2016

Channel 4 has launched Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: We’re The Superhumans, an advertising campaign promoting coverage of the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, and supporting Channel 4’s 2016 Year of Disability. The centrepiece of the campaign is a three-minute advert, We’re the Superhumans, featuring a cast of more than 140 disabled people, including Paralympic athletes, musicians and members of the public from all walks of life. The Channel 4 Superhumans commercial is set to the Sammy Davis Jr track, “Yes I Can”, re-recorded by a specially assembled band of disabled musicians drawn from around the world, The Superhumans Band, featuring lead vocalist Tony Dee. “We’re the Superhumans” follows on from the impact of the award-winning “Meet the Superhumans” commercial in 2012 and “Return of the Superhumans” in 2013.

Channel 4 Superhumans

“Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: We’re The Superhumans” celebrates the abilities of people with a range of impairments. It includes inspirational scenes such as a mother with no arms holding her baby with her feet; children with prosthetic limbs running, jumping, and playing football; and a woman flying a plane with her feet. It is believed to include more disabled people than ever before featured in a UK ad – and will be the most accessible campaign ever produced by Channel 4, with subtitled, signed and audio described versions available.

The 2016 Channel 4 Superhumans ad is set to the iconic Sammy Davis Jr track, Yes I Can, which has been re-recorded by a specially assembled band of disabled musicians drawn from around the world, The Superhumans Band, featuring lead vocalist Tony Dee. It was recorded in the famous Studio 2 of Abbey Road studios and the track will be released by Universal Music with all profits being donated towards the British Paralympics Association. Six mini-documentaries introduce viewers to musicians featured in the commercial.

Of the 100 plus people who feature most prominently in the Channel 4 Superhumans advert, 17 are musicians, 39 are Paralympians and 53 are non-athletes. In keeping with the inclusive feel of the advert, it features a mix of people from around the world – 78 from Britain and others from Australia, America, Brazil, Canada, Haiti, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. A series of mini-documentaries introduces viewers to people featured in the commercial, including professional racing driver and competitive drifter Bartek Ostalowski, translator David Ellington, and ParalympicsGB cyclist Jody Cundy.

The Channel 4 Superhumans film will be accompanied by a powerful poster campaign shot by Nadav Kander which features both Paralympians and disabled members of the public – and will roll out across Britain in the run up to the Rio Paralympics Opening Ceremony on 7th September.

Channel 4 Superhumans

Channel 4’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Dan Brooke said: “We’re the Superhumans is an unbridled celebration of ability, by both elite Paralympians and everyday people. In 2012 we saw athletes like never before, but now we see that Down’s Syndrome graduates and wheelchair users in the workplace are just as Superhuman as blind sprinters and amputee weightlifters. With our unique remit to champion diversity, innovation and new talent, the Paralympics is a public service bullseye for Channel 4. This campaign is the most important we have ever undertaken and isn’t just about Rio, it’s about revolutionising public attitudes to disability forever.”

The marketing campaign will promote Channel 4’s ground-breaking coverage of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, which will include more than 700 hours of sport broadcast across Channel 4 platforms – and will feature the largest ever team of disabled presenters on UK television.

The Rio Paralympics are the centrepiece of Channel 4’s 2016 Year of Disability – launched in January as part of the channel’s ongoing 360º Diversity Charter commitments – which includes major on and off screen commitments to improving representation of disabled people.

Channel 4 Superhumans
Channel 4 Superhumans
Channel 4 Superhumans

This Channel 4 Superhumans advert will be the most accessible ever produced by Channel 4 and include subtitled, signed and audio described versions, available on All 4, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The trail will also air in cinemas across the country and signed and subtitled versions of the advert will play at cinemas holding hearing impaired screenings.

Channel 4 Superhumans Credits

The Channel 4 Superhumans campaign was developed at 4 Creative by executive creative directors Chris Bovill, John Allison, creative director Alice Tonge, creatives Alice Tonge, Dougal Wilson, Jolyon White, Richard Biggs, head of production Clare Brown, senior agency producer Louise Oliver, production coordinator Christopher Osborne, executive producer Shananne Lane, group business director Olivia Browne, senior account director Tom Foster, C4 head of marketing James Walker, C4 head of marketing James Walker, and C4 marketing executive Erin-Jane Golding.

Filming was shot by director Dougal Wilson via Blink Productions with director of photography Dan Landin, producer Ewen Brown, casting agent Rose Waite, and production manager Lucy Jones.

Offline editor was Joe Guest at Final Cut. Production designer was Andy Kelly. Visual effects were produced at MPC by producer Hannah Ruddleston, VFX supervisor Tom Harding, and colourist Jean Clement Soret. Sound was designed by Anthony Moore at Factory.

Media is being handled by OMD UK.