Do you want to write for AthletesFirst?
Contact Andrea to find out how.

The good, the bad and the debatable of Paralympic ads

The Olympics are over and the Paralympics are still a few days away. What does that mean? It means it’s time for the release of all the new Paralympic ad campaigns!

I love ads. Ads might might be targeted at consumers but I tend to think they reveal at least as much about the producers. Who is producing the ad? What are they selling? Who are they selling it to? And what happens when audiences interpret it differently than was intended?

Heading into the Sochi Paralympics, I’ve compiled a list of a few of the ads that I’ve seen recently. Some of them I love, some make me extremely uncomfortable, some I’m still thinking about. But one of the nice things about the Internet is that ads are no longer just a broadcast medium – the communication doesn’t just go one way. We, as audiences, have the opportunity to respond to these ads.

I have posted below some of the ads that I’ve come across. I look forward to reading your comments :)

Sport Doesn’t Care Manifesto - Samsung has partnered with IPC to sponsor 16 video bloggers at Sochi. These are athletes who are going to post blogs and videos from within the games and upload them to the Paralympic TV site (and I assume Samsung’s site). They did something similar in London but that time there was no ‘theme’ to the videos – it was more just a look behind the scenes at the games. This time they have the theme ”Sport Doesn’t Care.” (This is just one of the videos – there will be others coming using the same tagline).

#WhatsThere - Campaign by the Canadian Paralympic Committee that encourages viewers that ‘It’s not about what is missing – it’s about what is there.’

AT&T ‘Paralympian’ – Features a US para-alpine skier (his son calls him on his AT&T phone when he’s having a particularly tough day at training)

Citi TV/USA Military – Short commercial by Citi TV featuring ex-US military who lost her legs in a car accident – now plays sitting volleyball and ‘serves her country in a different way’

P&G Proud Sponsors of Mom - Proctor and Gamble is the ‘Proud Sponsors of Moms’ for the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team – here is an ad created specifically for the Paralympics – ‘world’s toughest moms raise the world’s toughest kids’ – as all my Facebook friends say it’s guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes… (full disclosure – P&G just sent my mom a duffle bag full of goodies… she was pretty happy).

This is a fairly small sample- I know there are more Paralympic ads out there and will be many more over the next two weeks. Send me links and I’ll ad them to the post. Thanks!