A Paralympic Commercial That Has Nothing To Do With Pity

Photo: Team USA

It’s been a season of great commercials. First we had the traditional Super Bowl commercials, that can sometimes be even bigger news than the actual game. Then we had some real tear jerkers in the middle of the Olympic Games. Those ad agencies really know how to grab at our heart strings and make us reach for our Kleenex. Now that it’s time to tune into the Paralympic Games, a new commercial has been released.

This one is not designed to make you cry or cause sympathy to stir up in your heart. In fact, Carlo Cavallone, of the ad agency 72andSunny, says, “The last thing we wanted to be was tear-jerking. There’s nothing to cry about here.”

The point of this spot, for the company Samsung, is that an athlete is an athlete, no matter what his sport, no matter what his ability. The goal is to win. In the Paralympics, the goal is to win gold. It’s not a demonstration for the world to see how well a disabled person can compete in sports. One leg or two, sighted or blind, upright or wheelchair, the goal is to win gold.

And sport doesn’t care. The voiceover at the end drives home the point. These athletes train hard, make incredible sacrifices, and get out of bed on days that most of us would just give up. But they do it for the same reason every other athlete does it. They have a drive to push the limits of their sport.

“They’ve got a lot of problems, the problems every athlete has,” Cavallone says, “but their disability doesn’t count as one.”

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