Channel 4 launches 1million Superhumans Wanted prize


Channel 4 has staked £1million of its commercial airtime as a prize in a major new initiative announced today to encourage brands and media and creative agencies to prominently feature disability and disabled talent in their advertising campaigns. Launched as part of Channel 4’s Year of Disability, the £1million Superhumans Wanted prize will be awarded to the brand or agency which submits the strongest campaign idea – and their ad given an exclusive launch spot in the first break of the 2016 Rio Paralympics Games Opening Ceremony on Wednesday 7th September.

The competition, launched at Advertising Week Europe, extends the broadcaster’s far-reaching commitments to improving diversity on-and-off-screen beyond just its editorial content and into Channel 4’s important commercial airtime.

The Superhumans Wanted initiative aims to encourage UK advertisers to think differently about how they represent disability in their TV ad campaigns. In line with its remit, Channel 4 wants to work with the ad industry to improve diverse representation and challenge perceptions to help commercial airtime on television better reflect the diversity in Britain today.

The initiative launches ahead of Channel 4 broadcasting live coverage of the 2016 Paralympic Games in September – and the follow up to the multi-award winning Meet the Superhumans marketing campaign set to launch this summer.

Jonathan Allan, Sales Director at Channel 4, said: “As part of Channel 4’s Year of Disability, we want to ensure that our commitment to better reflecting disabled people goes beyond just our editorial approach and into our ad-breaks. The aim is to help inspire agencies and clients to think about what they can do to champion disability. By us putting some serious skin in the game through giving away this significant amount of TV airtime, we hope to encourage the best creative ideas from our ad partners that will resonate with all our viewers and challenge perceptions of disability, just as our Meet the Superhumans campaign did in 2012.”

The judging panel will be made up of key industry bodies and commentators including representatives from ISBA, The Voice of British Advertisers; the Advertising Association; Campaign magazine – alongside Channel 4 Board members and in-house creative agency, 4Creative.

Further details and how to enter are available on the 4 Sales website. The closing date for entries is Wednesday 25th May 2016 and the winning campaign will be announced on Thursday 9th June 2016.

Channel 4 announced in January that 2016 would be the broadcaster’s Year of Disability with major new commitments to boost on and off screen representation of disabled people. This will include doubling the number of disabled people appearing in 20 of Channel 4’s biggest shows – with disabled contributors contributing to hit programmes such as Gogglebox, The Island, Grand Designs, Hollyoaks and First Dates. £300,000 will be invested in new talent initiatives, with an off-screen commitment to progress the careers of 20 disabled people already working in the industry in Channel 4’s 20 biggest suppliers. And, within Channel 4, 50 per cent of all the broadcaster’s apprenticeships and 30 per cent of all its work experience placements will be ring fenced for disabled people.

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