Paralympians Send Messages of Hope

//  04.23.20


Paralympians Send Messages of Hope for These Challenging Times

Canadian Paralympic Committee and BBDO Canada release an empathetic COVID-19 PSA

A new film from the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) features perspectives from paralympians on the emotional challenges surrounding COVID-19, while reassuring Canadians there is a way forward.

With the onset of the global pandemic, many Canadians found their lives changed in an instant. The new 30-second PSA, produced by partner agency BBDO Canada, captures why the fallout is an experience those with disabilities know all too well – albeit for vastly different reasons.

“For many Canadians, the anxiety of this experience feels so acute because it seems so unprecedented,” says Martin Richard, Executive Director, Communications & Brand at Canadian Paralympic Committee. “But in another way, many athletes with a disability have been through emotional experiences like this. Your life is dramatically changed due to circumstances beyond your control – and only you get to decide how you move forward.”

Like many brands and associations, the CPC was forced to change gears because of COVID-19. Following the cancellation of the 2020 Tokyo games, they quickly found a unique approach they felt confident in, says BBDO Canada Executive Creative Director Chris Booth. “Working with our client, we identified a deeper insight surrounding the emotional journey of having your life affected by disability, and how sharing those experiences can give hope and support during these times.”

In order to create the PSA in self-isolation, BBDO Canada’s in-house production arm Ricochet worked with athletes by email, providing instructions on how to maximize sound quality while recording their voiceover at home. The narration was then paired with photography captured by AJ Messier for the CPC at their Athletes Summit in January.

The 30-second film will be running on Canada’s Paralympic media consortium and online, in English and French, commencing April 23, 2020. BBDO Canada previously partnered with CPC for the Greatness is Rare campaign to share the extraordinary achievements of Canada’s Paralympic athletes during the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games.


Title: The Letter
Client: Canadian Paralympic Committee
Executive Director of Communications & Brand: Martin Richard
Manager of Content and Digital Media: Emily Gentes

Agency: BBDO Canada
Copywriter: Jacob Pacey
Art Director: Brendan McMullen
SVP Creative Director: Chris Booth
SVP Creative Director: Derek Blais
VP Planning: Dan Koutoulakis
Planner: Alexandra Jo Heller
SVP, Business Director: Rebecca Flaman
Group Account Director: Tania Montemarano
Account Executive: Alexandra Hughes,
VP Head of Broadcast: Beatrice Bodogh

BBDO Montreal:
Copywriter/concept-rédacteur: Patrick Emiroglou
Vice-president, Operations / Vice-président, Opérations: Glen Cambridge
Account Supervisor/Superviseur de compte: Julie McGregor

Production: Ricochet
Producer: Sarah Sutherland
Senior Editor: Matthew Dell
Audio Production Manager: Mike Rosnick
Junior Editor: Raquel Velasquez

Photography: AJ Messier

Print Production: SGL
VP Director of Studio: Matt Eves
Retoucher: Jano Kirijian
Sr Production Artist: John Rodrigues
Sr Print Production Manager: Tom Burton