'It's Okay, You Can Stare' at Citi's Tokyo Paralympic Team

Publicis crafts #StareAtGreatness campaign

The stars of Citi's Paralympic team invite you to stare as they compete. That way, you'll be able to fully appreciate their mad skills and burning desire to win gold at next month's Tokyo Games.

Paralympians Scout Bassett, Trevon Jenifer, Lauren Steadman and others appear in fresh work from Publicis North America. They kick some serious ass on playing fields, running tracks, hoops courts and swimming pools, their game-faces set for maximum intensity. And while it's commonly considered rude to gawk at people with disabilities, these athletes are OK with folks who #StareAtGreatness, as we learn in this pulse-pounding :60 created with NM Productions director Patrik Giardino:

"The initial spark stemmed from a conversation we had with two of our Team Citi athletes, Scout Bassett and Brad Snyder," says client marketing lead Carla Hassan. "These athletes, like all people living with disabilities worldwide, want people to be impressed by their talent, skills, dedication to their craft, and how they take action in their communities—they don't want to serve as an inspiration by just living their day-to-day lives. That's where 'Stare' came in. We want people to stare at them for their talent and achievement, and not for their disability."

"Staring at someone who is 'different' is such a natural and common practice in society, and it's something that people living with disabilities, and their families, have unfortunately grown accustomed to," Hassan says. "We think this is a concept really anyone who has felt different can relate to and hope to hear stories of why people want to be stared at—what makes them great."

"We want this campaign to gain momentum among an audience that might not typically be interested in Para sports, and really anyone who can be a better ally for individuals with disabilities," Hassan adds. "We want viewers to feel like they have the opportunity to be an ally to people in their communities who have disabilities, while helping to lift up their achievements."

While the approach isn't as dazzling as, say, Channel 4's lauded Paralympics promos of years past, Citi's athletes convey a similar "superhuman" spirit and swagger that's a joy to behold.

Breaking globally this week, the campaign includes broadcast, online digital and OOH elements. Through the #StareAtGreatness hashtag, Citi encourages users to share their personal experiences and advance the conversation.

CREDITS

Creative Agency: Publicis North America
Andy Bird, Chief Creative Officer
Jeremy Filgate, Executive Creative Director
Aaron Blazey, Creative Director
Rit Botorff, Creative Director
Jenny Reed, EVP, Chief Production Officer
Kerri Kokoszka, Senior Producer
Beth Marrano, EVP, Group Account Director
Michelle Unverzagt, SVP Group Account Director
Jorge Rivadeneyra, Account Director

Production Company: NM Productions
Director/Photographer: Patrik Giardino
DOP: Mik Allen

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