Canadian Paralympic Committee: The Letter

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.

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