This Olympics Ad Focuses on the Failures, Not the Glory, of the Games

Misery Gives Birth to Brilliance, Explains Canada's Sports Chek

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Aug 09, 2016

Editor's Pick

We've seen plenty of Olympics ads so far that focus on the triumphs and glory of athletes at the Games, but this mobile advertising campaign, from Canadian sports retailer Sport Chek, instead compiles moments of Olympic failures.

Runners stumble, gymnasts fall off apparatus, rowers bow their heads in despondence, boxers bleed and cyclists crash in the first half minute of the film, as Canadian spoken word poet Shane Koyczan recites lyrics that include lines like "We hope defeat is in your cards."

So what's this all about? Well, the message of the spot becomes clear as the narration continues "We wish this misery upon you…because it gives birth to brilliance." The film concludes with some mores positive footage of Canadian athletes scoring triumphs at the Olympics.

The campaign, centered around the hashtag #WhatItTakes, was created by TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York and is a completely mobile and video-first campaign on Facebook. Digital spending makes up nearly 80% of Sport Chek's entire Rio 2016 advertising budget.

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Aug 09, 2016
TBWA/Chiat/Day New York
Sport Chek
Global Creative President:
Chris Garbutt
Chief Creative Officer:
Chris Garbutt
Group Creative Director:
Serge Flores
Associate Creative Director:
Denver Eastman
Senior Art Director:
Greg Wells
Shane Koyczan
Shane Koyczan
Associate Project Manager:
Alyssa DeSilva
Head of Integrated Production:
Jason Souter
Integrated Producer:
Katie Boyko
Business Affairs:
Debra Horvath
Chief Digital Officer:
Aki Spicer
Strategy Planner:
Sam Glassoff
President & CEO:
Rob Schwartz
Managing Director:
Nancy Reyes
Group Account Director:
Eryn McVerry
Account Supervisor:
Emily Zale
Production Company:
Olympic Manifesto Films TV - CBC Toronto, Ontario Canada
Executive Producer:
Chris Irwin
Coordinating Producer:
Sherin Manji
Giorgio Saturnino
Louis Saturnino
Ryan Ferguson
Production Assistant:
Nicole Cartier
Production Assistant:
Vince Gassi
Media Agency:
Sport Chek, unit of FLG Sports and Canadian Tire Calgary, BC
Duncan Fulton
SVP Marketing and eCommerce:
Frederick Lecoq
Rob Daintree
Marketing Strategy:
Erika DeHaas
Content Manager:
Dana Tomiczek

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