Real Life Marvel

Hands down this is the best piece of communication we’ve seen about the London 2012. Not just because of the pace, sheer emotional power, the spot on sound and its real, raw strength. Nor because of the fact that unlike other Olympian-related advertising, Channel 4 isn’t selling a product so wildly disconnected to the sporting event that any attempt at connecting it with an emotional message seems simply blasphemous (MacDonald’s is a main perpetrator). But because it rightly brings the Paralympics into a spotlight that’s way more exciting than the actual Olympics themselves.

Meet the Superhumans (

Seeing Paralympics athletes as superhumans, and not disabled humans, is something we wrote about a while back here. Sports men and women haven’t just dedicated every minute of the past few years to this very moment, but they’ve done it while overcoming – to many, unthinkable – physical adversity, all the while using technology and innovations that put them on par, if not above their Olympian counterparts.  They’re the real-life embodiment of Marvel’s X-Men, battling it out on the field and the courts – an image evoked in the final frame of the spot. The stars of the Paralympics aren’t just sporting heroes. They’re superheroes.


  1. I loved this spot, for many of the same reasons that you did, and while I too am more excited for the Paralympics in 2012 than I am for the Olympics, my excitement leaves me a bit confused. I can’t quite nail down why I’m so excited. On the one hand, the sheer athleticism that Paralympians display is in many ways more extraordinary and inspiring than that of able-bodied athletes. On the other hand, maybe I only think that way because of an in-grained mercy-prone disposition. I, like many of us experiencing our first or second Olympic Games as adults, was raised under a PC-acceptance blanket which while it encouraged us to see everyone as equal, carried with it certain subtle inclinations toward pity. Or maybe as many social psychologists would have us believe, were all just love an underdog story. And this may sound crass, but amongst other things, the Patalympics is the greatest collection of underdog stories around. I don’t know. I’m excited to meet the Superhumans. But, while I believe that ‘hyper-abled’ is better than ‘disabled’, its otherness lingers.

    Somehow, the cultural implications of the Paralympic Games seems simply higher in my view. The perception of the games and its participants can have an influence on the way we see an entire group of people. We haven’t had those kind of stakes in the Games for a while now. Like I said, I’m excited. So, here’s to Jesse Owens, Flo Jo, Oscar Pistorius and all the Superhumans. Let the games begin.

    1. If you haven’t seen the awesome documentary Murderball, get it to meet some Superhumans before the 2012 games begin. Here’s a trailer:

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