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London2012 Paralympics Commercial
May 4, 2012 8:57 AM   Subscribe

A new commercial for the 2012 Paralympics, done in one continuous take without special effects, is "atmospheric, powerful and hugely inspirational, exploring one runner’s journey back to the track." (via)
posted by holdkris99 (24 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Best to watch the first link first, the second video link is a "making of" video
posted by holdkris99 at 8:57 AM on May 4, 2012


Yes, and that is one supremely badass commercial. Imma go for a run now.
posted by 256 at 9:00 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been running for over a year and a half now. Joined this sport late in my life and often when I'm running anything beyond 10 km, I find myself thinking about athletes like this and what it must be like. Then I realize, they feel the same joy I feel. Don't pity. Get inspired.
posted by Fizz at 9:03 AM on May 4, 2012


I suppose I should clarify, there is CGI involved, though not as much as you may think on first viewing. Should not have used the same wording as Deadspin for that making of video link.
posted by holdkris99 at 9:04 AM on May 4, 2012


The concept is great but I think the execution is somewhat flawed. How many accidents did he survive? It sounded like there was a car crash at the beginning that put him in a wheelchair, and then he was working out and doing therapy and such, and then he was taken to a hospital by EMTs where he underwent some kind of emergency trauma treatment, and then he was out of there but a second later he was getting pulled out of another flaming car wreck, this time by firefighters.

I didn't get "journey back to the track" from this, I just saw increasingly explicit depictions of a guy getting repeatedly injured in car accidents.
posted by Scientist at 9:12 AM on May 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


That was pretty cool, although I wasn't blown away. There was something too loud and literal about it. Maybe it's the song that kind of turned me off. When I first saw this "No Excuses" commercial by Nike, that hit me like a ton of bricks. Simple and effective.
posted by phaedon at 9:13 AM on May 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have to say, I'm looking forward to the Paralympics as much as the Olympics. It's about struggle and heart, no matter what level the sport is.
posted by jaduncan at 9:15 AM on May 4, 2012


What special effects were needed? They just had all the setup on the track and did a long dolly with the runner. Cool ad but nothing particularly innovative.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:27 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a cool commerical, I cannot deny, but it seems to elevate the experience of those disabled through accidents and injuries over the experience of those who are born with disabilities. Yes, it's a RAH RAH WOOOOOOO commercial that makes you cheer on the people who lose limbs, but where's the commercial that recognizes the lived struggles to paralympian of those people who were born with disabilities?

I feel bad speaking this way, but it's a commercial that seems to celebrate the struggle of those born with privilege (i.e., fully-abled) and ignore the struggles that people without that same privilege have to go through as they go into the paralympics. And the work they do seems WAY tougher to me.
posted by barnacles at 9:43 AM on May 4, 2012


That was cool as hell. I can’t wait for my shin splint to be gone so I can go back to training.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:44 AM on May 4, 2012


Awesome.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:46 AM on May 4, 2012


And the work they do seems WAY tougher to me.

This is very true, but I think it's powerful as an ad because it permits a window into the world of the disabled athlete that a fully-abled viewer can identify with.

For instance, I'm about to get in my car and drive across town to drop off a supplemental grade form. Using a car-crash as the set-up for the disability may be unfair to those with congenital disabilities, but it damn well made me aware of my privilege(s) and the staggering amount of forces that are simply beyond our control every time we leave the house.

Save, of course, for the indomitable human spirit.

As for the sequencing, it's a reverse chronology. The initial audio of the car crash confuses this, but without that audio cue, I think you'd lose a significant chunk of the audience. Hence, the abandoned wheelchairs we see at the race's start represent the penultimate step back to the track for the athlete.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:49 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The concept is great but I think the execution is somewhat flawed. How many accidents did he survive? It sounded like there was a car crash at the beginning that put him in a wheelchair, and then he was working out and doing therapy and such, and then he was taken to a hospital by EMTs where he underwent some kind of emergency trauma treatment
He personally? He had a birth defect, and the doctors removed his leg at nine months.
It's a cool commerical, I cannot deny, but it seems to elevate the experience of those disabled through accidents and injuries over the experience of those who are born with disabilities. Yes, it's a RAH RAH WOOOOOOO commercial that makes you cheer on the people who lose limbs, but where's the commercial that recognizes the lived struggles to paralympian of those people who were born with disabilities?
Oh lighten up.
posted by delmoi at 9:51 AM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow.


Just... wow.
posted by Edison Carter at 9:55 AM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


The print version ain't too shabby either.
posted by eggplantplacebo at 10:28 AM on May 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


That print version is great. I think I might like it better than the video ad - it's more to the point. Both are powerful, though.
posted by hepta at 10:33 AM on May 4, 2012


I hope the Paralympics gets better coverage in the US this year. Previous years it has been relagated to an hour long special after the games are over, or coverage on Universal Sports, a channel I'm not entirely sure exists.

"Sorry, Universal Sports is unavailable through Comcast." Umm, isn't it part OWNED by Comcast?
posted by ALongDecember at 10:37 AM on May 4, 2012


It's a cool commerical, I cannot deny, but it seems to elevate the experience of those disabled through accidents and injuries over the experience of those who are born with disabilities. Yes, it's a RAH RAH WOOOOOOO commercial that makes you cheer on the people who lose limbs, but where's the commercial that recognizes the lived struggles to paralympian of those people who were born with disabilities?
Oh lighten up.


I might have put it differently but I'll certainly note that there is this kind of hierarchy of disability and it's kind of a 'thing'. The (largely) able-bodied program I work for has an integrated paraswimming component ranging from grassroots learn-to-swim to the senior international level with multiple athletes in play for London. My girlfriend is a physio working in seating and mobility.

We both see various aspects of this: posted by mce at 12:03 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


ah darn. that came out much harder to read than the live preview suggested. Always preview mce, always! Sigh.
posted by mce at 12:04 PM on May 4, 2012


The Para-Alpine Canadian Championships was held in my home town a couple years ago, and my parents volunteered. Said it was the most inspiring athletics they'd ever seen, a whole bunch of their friends got involved, and everyone had a great time. So if it comes to your town, i recommend signing up to volunteer! And if you are a competitor--just so you know they still talk about you all in Courtenay.
posted by chapps at 10:24 PM on May 4, 2012


I like the ad -- it echoes many about the Olympics and the work to get there, but with a twist. I watched quite a bit of the Vancouver Paralympics. Wasn't a fan of Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan's politics generally, and am kind of a grump about the olympics, but was proud of the former mayor's role in the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics, because it was cool that the mayor that who was there when Vancouver won the olympics uses a wheelchair, and was there to be the host of the Paralympics on behalf of Vancouver. I was kind of hoping Vancouver would be the first to hold the events joined as one big event.
posted by chapps at 10:29 PM on May 4, 2012


Scientist : I didn't get "journey back to the track" from this, I just saw increasingly explicit depictions of a guy getting repeatedly injured in car accidents.

I think you missed the point, you see the character starting from the end of his journey, then running back into the past showing all the things he's been through to get there. So it starts from the wheelchair he recently left behind, back through his physio, then the hospital and finally the actual accident.

Great advert, and a really fantastic way to describe paraolympians, unstoppable.
posted by Static Vagabond at 5:39 AM on May 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the second video, he mentions his amputation at a young age as the result of a congenital deformity. He is acting the role of an accident victim.
posted by arzakh at 5:56 AM on May 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Got me tingly, which is my body saying 'F. YEAH!!'
posted by nj_subgenius at 1:04 PM on May 5, 2012


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