Grey Canada Enlists Special Olympians to Show Disabilities are a Non-Issue in Sports

By Kiran Aditham 

To help promote both this year’s Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles (July 25-August 2 to be exact) and Special Olympics Canada, Grey’s Toronto office has launched a campaign that essentially proclaims sports to be “the great equalizer.”

Using Special Olympics athletes including powerlifter extraordinaire Jackie Barrett–who recently put up 690 lbs.–swimmer Julia Longo and runner Robert Pipitone, the campaign’s overall theme holds that disability or not, there is no special treatment when it comes to sport.

Directed by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Hubert Davis, the spots above and below feature a black-and-white motif and plenty of slow-motion shots for dramatic effect.

In a statement, Special Olympics Canada CEO Sharon Bollenbach says:

“Special Olympics Canada is extremely grateful for, and excited about, the There Is No Special Treatment campaign delivered by long-time partner GREY Canada. The launch of the campaign is a culmination of countless hours and resources, delivering on a message that resonates deeply with our athletes and their families. It is our hope that this campaign will remind all Canadians that individuals with an intellectual disability can and will succeed when given a chance, and ultimately help inspire more athletes, coaches, volunteers and donors to join the Special Olympics Movement.”

Check out a closer look at lifter Barrett in the :45 spot below:

Along with the films above (which will be launched through paid and donating media partners including Tim Horton’s and The Toronto Sun), the campaign will also include print, digital and social activations.

Agency: GREY Toronto
Chief Creative Officer: Patrick Scissons
Copywriter: James Ansley, James McGuire
Art Director: Mike Kirkland, Troy Geoghegan
Agency Producer: Terri Vegso, Shawna Robinson, Lisa Smith
Account Director: Darlene Remlinger, Laura Rovinescu
French Creative Director: Claude Croteau

Production Company: Untitled Films
Director: Hubert Davis
Director of Photography:  John Houtman
Executive Producer: Tom Evelyn
Line Producers: Tom Evelyn, Erik Wilson, Jen Walker

Editorial Company: Rooster Post
Editor: Dave De Carlo
Editorial Producer: Yumi Suyama

Music and Sound Design: Eggplant
Sound Director: Adam Damelin, Lee Porter
Sound Engineer: Matt Gauthier
Sound Producer: Nicola Treadgold, Lindsay Fry
French Audio: POSTM

Colorist: Andrew Exworth, The Vanity
Online: Paul Binney, Lauren Rampel, Fort York VFX
Online Producers: Erica Bourgault, Amanda Lariviere (Fort York)
Studio/Production Company: Westside Studio
Photographer: Matt Barnes