Channel 4 triumphant in July/August Thinkboxes

“We’re the superhumans”, by 4Creative for Channel 4’s coverage of the Rio Paralympic Games, was chosen by The Thinkbox Academy as winner of the July/August 2016 Thinkboxes award for TV ad creativity.

The three-minute film, a follow-up to its multi-award-winning “Meet the superhumans” campaign for London 2012, was the centrepiece of the broadcaster’s Paralympics campaign. Featuring more than 140 disabled people, the film, directed by Dougal Wilson, celebrates the abilities of people with a range of impairments from all walks of life. It is set to a cover of Sammy Davis Jr track Yes I Can, by disabled musicians. 

The idea behind the campaign was to do more than just promote the 2016 Paralympic Games, according to Channel 4 chief marketing and communications officer Dan Brooke.

“It is an unbridled celebration of ability,” he says. “With our unique remit, 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.” 

Thinkbox Academy member and 101 founding partner Laurence Green adds: “It’s not just a great ad for the Paralympics and Channel 4, it’s a towering advertisement for the human spirit and for the ad industry.”

Cancer Research UK’s “Right now: Deborah’s clinical trial”, created by Anomaly, won second place in the July/August Thinkboxes line-up. In third place was BBH Sport’s Olympics-themed “Samsung School of Rio – rowing”.


This campaign is the most important we have ever undertaken and isn’t just about Rio – it’s about revolutionising attitudes

Dan Brooke Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Channel 4

Creative agency 4Creative; Creative team Chris Bovil, John Allison, Alice Tonge, Richard Biggs, Jolyon White; Production company Blink Productions; Director Dougal Wilson

Other ads on the podium

Cancer Research UK Right Now (2nd)

  • Creative agency Anomaly
  • Creative team Oli Beale, Nick Bird, Lee Smith Clients Anthony Newman, Clare Moore
  • Production company The Garden Productions
  • Director Henry Singer

Samsung School of Rio – Rowing (3rd)

  • Creative agency BBH Sport
  • Creative team Ewan Paterson, Jack Smedley, George Hackforth-Jones Client Benjamin Blanco
  • Production company Rattling Stick
  • Director Gabe Turner 

Also shortlisted 

Betfair Ready?

  • Creative agency Lucky Generals
  • Creative team D Brooke-Taylor, N Bird, L Smith, B Martin, K Peters
  • Client Paul Gambrill
  • Production company Serious Pictures
  • Director Walter Campbell

Esso Sophie’s Journey

  • Creative agency Adam & Eve/DDB
  • Creative team Ben Priest, Paul Cohen, Simon Lloyd, Ben Tollett, Richard Brim Client Louise Leavy
  • Production company Somesuch
  • Director Nick Gordon 

Click here to see who won the previous award

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