Goodbye celebrity, hello superhero

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE


BBC Winter Olympics, The fearless are here - Y&R London
BBC Winter Olympics, The fearless are here - Y&R London

In the wake of the Pyeongchang Olympics we’re still reeling from Ester Ledecka’s superwoman performance. The 22-year-old Czech is the first woman to win gold in two different sports, the skiing super G and the snowboarding parallel giant slalom, a phenomenal achievement. The Brits hit their target too, winning a total of five medals, including a surprise bronze for the ecstatic Billy Morgan in the snowboarding big air.

Arguably the world’s greatest competition, the Olympics is overarchingly unifying. Wherever you come from it’s hard not to marvel at a triple axel or quad cork 1800. When records are broken we shout and cheer for humankind and our ability to push ourselves to the limit.

The endlessly scrolling bad news ticker highlighting world events makes us hungry for reasons to feel proud. Once captured, this feeling can trickle down from country to friends and eventually to ourselves, creating a sense of empowerment.

The revolutionary film Black Panther is step forward for superhero movies. Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, Black Panther is a black superhero young children can be proud of. Crowd-funded initiatives have brought the film to all corners of America and the UK. In Philadelphia, NFL star Jaelen Strong rented a movie theatre to give 60 children a private, opening-night screening.

“The images that come into our house and are surrounding us every day, they are the images that are telling us whether we have permission to think about a different world or whether we’d better just like stick to the world we’ve got,” said Jude Kelly, Founder of Women of the World Festival.

Let’s demand characters that make us proud of who we are and where we come from. It’s time to say goodbye to the age of celebrity and hello to the year of the superhero.

Nike’s Nothing Beats a Londoner

I’m not a native Londoner, but Nike’s new LNDR ad makes me wish I was. Already being hailed as one of the best ads ever made, the sports giant called on a legion of 258 real-life young Londoners to appear in the film.

Endlessly enterprising and fiercely competitive, these young Londoners shape sport and culture in the city around them. With the help of cameos from some famous faces, the 3 minute ad, shot on 16mm film, unites each individual with their pride for the city.

Shot on the streets of the capital in the very neighbourhoods that will produce the next Skepta, Dina Asher-Smith or Harry Kane, areas such as Dalston, Peckham and Brixton provide a vivid backdrop for the bravado, passion for sport and unique London spirit.

real-life young Londoners appeared in the film
YouTube views to date

As the young Londoners are the focus, they launched the campaign through their social channels. Each of the athletes was given their scene as a standalone piece of content, which they posted on Instagram, linking to the next competitor to create a massive social media battle between some of London’s best young athletes. Soon after, the edits were amplified by the famous faces who also starred in the campaign.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London

Nike - Nothing beats a Londoner
Nike - Nothing beats a Londoner

BBC, the fearless are here

Bringing to life the fearlessness Winter Olympians must possess to succeed in their hair-raising events, Y&R worked with animators Smith & Foulkes at Nexus Studios to create this bold, dark animation that conjures up a sense of intensity. By personifying fear visually, the animation applauds athletes for their resounding focus and determination to surmount fear itself and perform at the highest level, often to defy the odds.

Agency: The Fearless are Here, VMLY&R

BBC, the fearless are here

Pampers 'Thank You Midwife'

In the chaos, excitement and joy of birth, it’s easy to forget to thank the people who get you through it, the midwives. Whilst 80% of UK mums say it is important to thank their midwife, only 58% actually do so. The nationwide #ThankYouMidwife campaign aims to deliver a ‘thank you’ to each of the nation’s 40,000 midwives, for everything they do and it will also raise money for the Benevolent Fund of the Royal College of Midwives. For every ‘thank you’ shared on social media with the hashtag #ThankYouMidwife, Pampers will donate £1 to the charity.

Agency: Thank you Midwife, Saatchi & Saatchi

Pampers 'Thank You Midwife'

Barbie inspires kids to be anything

Part of Barbie’s larger strategy ‘Imagine the Possibilities’, ‘You can be Anything’ is a hands-on creative workshop inspiring children to believe they can be anything they want.

Agency: You can be anything, Sense

Barbie, you can be anything

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