Advertising, Paralympics and Being Superhuman

Sammy Davis Jr. was an underdog iconoclast, talented actor, singer and had a damn good looking glass eye. How does he connect to the Paralymics? The UK’s Channel 4 created the groundbreaking three-minute advertisement We Are Superhuman, which is set to the iconic Sammy Davis Jr track, Yes I Can. The song has been re-recorded by a band of disabled musicians that come from from around the world, featuring lead vocalist Tony Dee.

To help promote paralympics coverage, the UK’s Channel 4 created the groundbreaking commercial We Are Superhuman. According to the Channel 4 press release the commercial is believed to include more disabled people than ever featured in a UK ad as well as being the most accessible campaign ever produced by Channel 4 – subtitled, signed and audio described versions available.

What could be bolder than a three minute commercial featuring only people with disability? This advertisement launches Channel 4’s Year of Disability. I have a visual impairment so sometimes I need to reread sentences, but for everyone’s benefit I’ll just repeat that last sentence. This advertisement launches Channel 4’s Year of Disability. When it is challenging for many advertisers and agencies to even remember that people with disabilities are a minority group it is amazing and remarkable that a network is dedicating an entire year to disability.

Channel 4’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Dan Brooke said: “We’re the Superhumans is an unbridled celebration of ability, by both elite Paralympians and everyday people.”


This is my favorite still image pulled from the ad of a mom and her baby. The only thing the baby sees is a loving mom. The baby doesn’t see someone who is less capable, less worthy or less human.

If you’re a marketing director or agency creative, watch this commercial and take a minute to listen to Sammy Davis Jr. and say “Yes I Can” to inclusive advertising featuring people with disabilities.