Channel 4 Paralympics ad – Meet the Superhumans

Channel 4 promo

There is some great outdoor advertising in the UK from Channel 4 that features the line “thanks for the warm-up” in reference to their broadcast of the paralympic games in London.

Australia’s satirical show on all things advertising The Gruen Sweat featured this promo (not ad., but in-house produced promo).

This is one of the best examples of selling a product and subject that isn’t instantly in demand from the general public. As well as agency quality production, the genius is in the creative idea that includes the depiction of accidents that led to injury and disability.

The message is that this could be you.

It is a powerfully produced piece of work and a good effort to get our attention and awareness of Channel 4’s broadcast, whether it will drive actual viewership is another question, but given the momentum of the Olympics this is giving the games the best chance of some serious viewing.

This also proves a point I have long believed in. In-house production teams, who know their brand and content, can do a great job to sell it to their viewers at a fraction of the cost of agencies.

A nice taster here:

Channel 4 says the campaign is the biggest it has run since the station launched in 1982.

The advert was directed by Tom Tagholm for Channel 4’s in-house agency 4Creative. Tagholm said:

“We knew we had to make some noise. We knew we had to add some edge and grit and attitude.

“We narrowed it down to four or five concepts but then someone came up with this line: ‘Meet The Superhumans’. We loved the scale and the confidence of it. So we built up from there to create the strongest, most impactful concept we could get.”

The Channel 4 blog puts it like this:

“As for the scenes in the middle with the explosion and car crash and the mother in the hospital – we thought long and hard about how to include them because one thing that we weren’t interested at all in doing was an advert which said ‘Isn’t it great that these guys have made it to the start line?’ That just didn’t interest me and I don’t think it interested the channel.

“What I wanted to do though was just get a flashback moment – to show that it’s a part of what they are now and a part of their physicality. I didn’t want to dwell on it, just to give a hint, a moment of just how tough these characters have had to be. I could have put those scenes at the beginning or the end of the trailer but I think it’d have been weirdly less impactful that way – having them where they are stops you right in your tracks and hits you in the face.”

And the Public Image soundtrack nails it.

The Shit / $#*! kids say

This is interesting. A difficult category at best. I can remember some over engineered and wincingly awkward ads in the past which have shocked people into discussion, but probably not action.

This has a build into a believable and sincere, but subtle message.

The question is what is the objective – awareness, action against suspicion or donation? I think that awareness will build, but I wish it had a harder call to action.

Still a strong piece of work and I hope that whatever DM is associated to the campaign drives a message home.

New UK Weetabix ‘Steeplechase’


Vodpod videos no longer available.

The new advert from Weetabix is causing a suitable stir in the UK.

It gets back to a core campaign idea of performance (remember its all about 3 Weetabix a day…)

Relevant, interesting and fun for a family. Hopefully we see more around the campaign idea.

Agency: WCRS

Agency Producer: Sally Lipsius

Creative: Larry Seftel / Dave Day

Director: Ringan Ledwdige

Production Company: Rattling Stick

Producer: Sally Humphries

Director of Photography: Jess Hall

Post Production: The Mill – London

Editor: Richard Orrick – Work Post


All-star lineup for new UK Freeview TV ad

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Freeview advertising inevitably comes under much scrutiny.

It certainly did in Australia where it spawned an infamous spoof.

The UK has just launched a new offering. An unlikely combination of Katie Price, Alan Whicker, Ray Mears and Postman Pat star in a Freeview TV ad set to the theme tune from 1970s UK cop show The Professionals.

The digital terrestrial TV service’s £4m TV campaign as been timed to break on ITV1 during Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

The campaign, by ad agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay, features the “all-star” (?) lineup descending on the house of a Freeview viewer. The confusing point for me is that the claimed objective is to use the campaign to promote the new Freeview + personal video recorder, which I can’t see any reference to? The ad seems to lose it’s way in the face of a barrage of TV celebs.

Personally I think Pat did the best job as he shakes his head suggesting “no bills for you mate…..”

ESPN UK – Barclays Premier League advert – “It’s Great To Be Here”

Following the demise of SETANTA in the UK, ESPN has picked up their EPL rights and launched its first live UK sports channels, ESPN and ESPN HD.

The channels will feature 46 live Barclays Premier League (EPL) matches hosted by Ray Stubbs and Rebecca Lowe (Ex BBC Football Focus and Match of the Day).

They kicked off last weekend. With the momentum of a strong team and strong finances, I suspect that SKY will face some stiff competition from ESPN and “Stubbsie”.

The launch was driven by some strong advertising. Similar to FOX Sports in Australia (see post below), the promos featured the strong emotional connection that viewers have with their teams and the game.

This is about passion and living and breathing the beautiful game! Some great lines in there:

“Filled with pride, courage, meat and gravy…”

“I shall stand tall like a polyester beacon of hope…!”

These promos are well crafted creatively and well produced to lift the spirits of the viewer and anticipation of the season ahead.

Somewhat like a valiant cry in the midst of battle (!), the ad is full of hope and optimism. Stirring stuff and all before a ball was kicked in anger.

The ad for ESPN is voiced by Boys from the Blackstuff actor Bernard Hill and was created by Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam. No surprise to see it’s a good one as these guys produce the Nike Soccer ads. (Remember the classic Nike “Park Life”…..):

Lets just hope the games live up to the promise! (NUFC fan in remission…)

Great AD Archive: The Guardian Points Of View

News Ltd CEO John Hartigan has been defending the editorial value of newspapers versus the ubiquitous Blog.

It has been an interesting and protracted discussion (at least on the side of the bloggers…)

In defending newspapers, I am always looking at the UK’s Guardian as an example of an innovator. is again website of the year and The Guardian embraced new digital media whilst innovating in terms of the paper through sections and the Berliner smaller format adopted in 2006. Others followed.

I think of real significance is the fact that The Guardian has effectively used traditional advertising and media to promote it’s USP of rounded journalism. Most famously in the above ad “Points of View” which is still on of the most memorable ads ever made.