To mark one year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has launched #WaitForTheGreats, a multi-pronged campaign that aims to generate excitement and interest ahead of next year’s rearranged Games.
Running through to 6 September, the date the Closing Ceremony should have taking place this year, the campaign will include a range of engaging content, including a daring TV advert which will be aired across the channels of rights-holders, commercial partners, IPC members and the IPC.
The first 17 seconds of the 30-second spot, which was created and developed by advertising agency adam&eveDDB, takes place in darkness. Viewers are in the world of sprinter David Brown at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. It is the final of the 100m T11 for athletes with a vision impairment. The Team USA athlete is wearing a Stars and Stripes blindfold.
Accompanying Brown is his guide Jerome Avery, who will sprint down the track with him. Out of the darkness we hear Avery’s voice, giving Brown some last-minute advice and encouragement: “Alright it’s showtime. You’ve worked hard to be here David,” says Avery, then telling Brown where to place his hands behind the start line before the pistol goes off.
Viewers follow the pair down the track. It’s still dark and all you hear is Avery’s calls of “Drive, drive, drive, pick it up!” before he gives Brown a countdown. “Twenty metres, 40. Come on, you’re looking good. Eighty metres, 90,” before a final screamed instruction of “Lean!” as they cross the line first and the commentator announces that their time of 10.99 is a new Paralympic record.
“Greatness will wait,” is the message that starts the second half of the advert, as we see more Paralympic athletes celebrate their previous successes. The advert ends with the message, “The Paralympics will return in 2021, #WaitForTheGreats.”
Other key #WaitForTheGreats activity over the next 13 days includes:
- To mark the original date of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, there will be a 24- hour Instagram Live Relay. This will feature 24 athletes representing 24 countries and 22 sports.
Until 5 September
Throughout the period, the IPC has partnered with Twitter for an emoji hashtag under #WaitForTheGreats (and #もっと強くなるために in Japan).
There will be continued athlete-generated content with the hashtag #WaitForTheGreats:
- Twitter conversation between David Brown and Jerome Avery, the stars of the IPC’s one-year-to-go TV ad.
- Athlete takeovers on Instagram
- Greatest Paralympic Moment of the Decade: from 26 August we will run a Twitter poll to find a winner from 16 great moments from London 2012 and Rio 2016
- In partnership with TikTok in USA and Japan, Para athletes will share their amazing stories and skills, and users will be able to discover and share your passion for the Paralympics using #WaitForTheGreats.
- Re-runs of live streams and great moments.
- The Closing Act – a musical performance to celebrate the end of the campaign.
The #WaitForTheGreats activity will be complemented by the launch on Wednesday 26 August of Rising Phoenix, the Netflix movie about the Paralympic Movement. Rising Phoenix tells the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games across two Games through the stories of nine athletes.
Rising Phoenix will broadcast across the world from the same time: 12.00AM Pacific Time / 3.00AM Eastern Time / 4.00AM Brasília Time / 8.00AM British Summer Time / 9.00AM Central European Summer Time / 9.00AM South Africa Standard Time / 4:00PM Japan Standard Time / 5.00PM Australian Eastern Standard Time.
On Saturday 29 August there will be Global Rising Phoenix Conversation. The aim is for the world to join the Para athletes from the movie to ‘press play’ at the same time on Netflix and enjoy Rising Phoenix. Together across social media everyone will share their reactions to the incredible stories in the film.
Key times around the world to start watching the movie are: 4:00AM Japan Standard Time / 5.00AM Australian Eastern Standard Time / 12.00PM Pacific Time / 3.00PM Eastern Time / 4.00PM Brasília Time / 8.00PM British Summer Time/ 9.00PM Central European Summer Time / 9.00PM South Africa Standard Time.