The Creative Distinction Award presented by the Art Director’s Club of Europe is an individual honour created to recognise the most inspirational examples of creativity that have had an outstanding societal impact. The 2016 iteration was recently awarded to the UK’s Channel 4 and their in-house studio 4Creative for their vibrant Paralympic Games coverage campaign called We are the Superhumans.
A follow up to their similarly impactful 2012 Paralympics campaign Meet the Superhumans, the Broadway-inspired, 3-minute long ad is filled with elaborate costumes, bright colours, and plenty of music and dancing. Featuring disabled individuals of all walks of life, the short opens with a Rat pack-inspired band of ‘Superhumans’ as they perform a cover of Sammy Davis Jr.'s "Yes I Can", before transitioning into multiple and varied of scenes of accomplished disabled individuals. The message is simple, impactful and inspiring: being disabled doesn’t have to limit your dreams and aspirations.
"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."
The second ever recipient of the ADCE’s Creative Distinction Award (the inaugural award went to French graphic designer and illustrator Jean Jullien for his Peace for Paris work), 4 Creative has successfully created a campaign that is not only defiant but triumphant. By putting an oft-excluded group on a pedestal, the ad campaign changes the narrative from one of tolerance to one of outright celebration.