It’s not often that we come across promotional campaigns that leave their impression and influence our lives. It is sad that advertisement makers don’t focus on values that mankind and social units should enhance. Even more saddening is to see promotions that (in a stupid way) target our carnal desires and complexes in order to sell products. A good example is that of Pulsar motorcycle. The punch line of the product is “definitely male” and the advertisement subtly concludes that if a man does not drive a Pulsar he is not male enough!
Anyway, I am writing this to remind you about a brilliantly done ad campaign. It was produced by Saatchi & Saatchi for the International Olympic Committee. Christened as “Celebrating Humanity” the campaign was used for the first time in Sydney Olympic Games of the year 2000. The campaign was publicized using TV, radio and print media and has been used in the subsequent Games as well.
Although I liked all the ads in this campaign but the one that is imprinted on my mind is called “Giant”. With voice over by Robin Williams, this ad tells us of the importance of hard-work in order to achieve unimaginable. Ever since the year 2000 this advertisement has been the part of my psychological resistance against low-phases. Here are the lyrics and video of this ad. Hope you enjoy it.
|To be a giant.|
This has forever been our passion,
This desire to be a giant.
Not to stand on one’s shoulders but have one for a friend,
Though these may be fortunate things,
But to be one.
Giants step over barriers that seem never-ending.
They conquer mountains that appear insurmountable.
Giants rise above fear,
Triumph over pain,
Push themselves and inspire others
To be a Giant,
To do Giant things,
To take Giant steps,
To move the world forward.
This clip has been part of my life since last 10 years. I would like to say more about the first athlete who appears in this clip. She is Kerri Strug. The scene shows her doing her second vault exercise for the USA Women Gymnastics Team during Atlanta Olympics, 1996. The Russian Team was ahead of the USA. Finally, it all boiled down to Kerri’s final exercise on vault. If she would score enough points —the USA Team would get the gold medal. Otherwise the Russians would get gold and USA will have to be content with the silver.
As the fate had it, Kerri badly injured her ankle during first attempt. She was in excruciating pain. Everyone had thought that the gold had gone to Russians; but only until Kerry came back on stage to do her next attempt. I can’t forget that shiver of excitement, that lump in throat and that feeling of saluting her that I had when she came back on stage. As I was watching this competition on TV in 1996, I don’t know what happened between Kerri’s two vault attempts. So, here is some text from Wikipedia that gives us some insight:
In the time interval between Strug’s two vaults, she asked, “Do we need this?” Karolyi replied, “Kerri, we need you to go one more time. We need you one more time for the gold. You can do it, you better do it.” Strug thus limped slightly to the end of the runway for her second attempt. She landed the vault briefly on both feet, almost instantly hopping onto only her good foot, saluting the judges. She then needed assistance off the landing platform due to the injury, to which Tesh commented, “Kerri Strug is hurt! She is hurt badly.” The completed vault received score of 9.712, guaranteeing the Americans the gold medal. Karolyi carried her onto the medals podium to join her team, after which she was treated at a hospital for a third-degree lateral sprain and tendon damage. Due to her injury, she was unable to compete in the individual all-around competition and event finals, despite having qualified for both.
I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch Kerri doing her brave second vault. The images of her doing this vault and her receiving the gold medal have itched on my mind for ever.
By the way, I had a specific reason to support US Team. And it was not Kerri Strug. What it was? That’s good for telling some other time!