Paralympic ad wrap: Optus, Woolies, Swisse and Visa tell athlete stories

As the Paralympics gets underway in Rio de Janeiro Australian brands have been unveiling their marketing efforts around the Games, with many revealing the back stories of Australian athletes.

Many official sponsors of the Australian Paralympics Committee have created hero TV ads and followed them up with content pieces on their social media channels exploring the athlete’s lives and what makes them tick. Here’s a wrap up.


Telco Optus’s efforts star one of its own employees, cyclist Matt Formston, as part of its ‘Relentless Series’ campaign created by Emotive.

The 30-sec TVC depicts a training montage cut with the words “Matt Formston. Blind. Paralympian. Optus employee.”

The online video elaborates on Formston’s personal drive, featuring interviews with Formston, his family and his coach.


Supplements brand Swisse has tapped up athletes Dylan Alcott (tennis), Curtis McGrath (canoe sprinter), Alexandra Lisney (cycling) and Ellie Cole (swimming) as its ambassadors for the Games, including all in the 30-second hero TV ad.

The 30 second commercial premiered during Channel 7’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony this morning and was created by Noisy Beast.

The ‘Powering Australian Paralympic Dreams’ campaign also features interviews with the athletes by Seven host Hamish McClachlan talking about their experiences.

“We are extremely proud to support our Australian Paralympic Team’s Rio journey. Our athletes are some of the greatest at what they do and each with an equally inspiring story, many of which up until now have not been told,” says Swisse Director of Sales & Marketing Michael Howard.

“Our mission with both our Olympic and Paralympic Rio campaigns is to power our athletes’ Rio journey through sharing their stories, dreams and successes with the rest of Australia.”


Supermarket giant Woolworths has been following the progress of wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt and table tennis player Milly Tapper and their preparation for the Games, using them to talk about getting their nutrition right to get to the top of their sports.


Visa has created a content piece with basketballer Ben Fawcett about his story, from being injured snowboarding to taking up basketball and his drive to succeed.

Seven Network

The official broadcaster of the Games has reskined the acclaimed song and dance number created by UK broadcaster Channel 4 for its coverage, featuring an uplifting tune performed by disabled musicians and a number disabled athletes performing some extraordinary tasks, as well as more mundane things like brushing their teeth.


In the UK Mars chocolate brand Maltesers ran a ‘Superhumans wanted’ Crash the Super Bowl-style campaign and has released three ads featuring disbled actors which will air during the Games. Broadcaster Channel 4 donated $1m of air time to the brand for the idea.


Samsung UK continues in the vein of their ‘School of Rio’ Olympics campaign with a video showing two Paralympic swimmers trying to train comedian Jack Whitehall in their sport.


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