On the first day of this year’s Cannes Lions, Dentsu hosted the session ‘The Paralympics Impact on our Creativity and Humanity’ at the Lumiere Theatre. “Our industry understands how diversity plays a significant role for creativity and we’ve all been proving that through magnificent works. However, can we say the same for disability?” asked Maiya Kinoshita from Dentsu, opening the session. “Although this is a problem we hasn’t been addressed enough, we believe that it’s also an opportunity. An opportunity to push humanity forward, by welcoming new perspectives, new talent, and new challenges to overcome.” She continues, “At Dentsu, we call this social change and advancement of humanity by bringing people with disabilities up in the game, the Paralympics Impact”.
Craig Spence, chief marketing and communications officer of the International Paralympics Committee (IPC) was welcomed to the stage to discuss this further. “Today the Paralympics is a fantastic celebration of human diversity and the world’s number one sport event for driving social inclusion, contributing to 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Craig. “Here in Cannes, we have the world’s greatest creative minds together in one place. Hand on heart, as an industry can you really say that your organisations and creative campaigns are a true reflection of society?”
“The Paralympic Games
embody the challenges – and the possibilities – that keep humanity moving forward. They show to the world that differences are a strength and that our focus should be on the abilities of people, not their perceived disabilities.” He highlighted how the Paralympic Games drive social inclusion and encouraged the advertising industry to do more.
Craig and Maiya were then joined by Dutch three-time Paralympic sprinting champion Marlou van Rhijn
who took part in a question and answers sessions on how the Paralympics had transformed her life. Marlou introduced Project Blade, an initiative she leads to help children have access to blades as easy as buying shoes, in a sports gear shop. “You’re human, you want to play, you want to have fun. Some need blades, and some need shoes, so we wanted to make it as easy as possible”. Making the cover of Harper’s Bazaar as Woman of the Year, she also inspired the audience to build one’s confidence ‘by being your true self’.