PRWeek UK Awards Winners 2022: Marketing Communications: Culture, Media and Sport

This award goes to FleishmanHillard UK and Adam & Eve/DDB, for creating a game-changing campaign challenging the narrative on disability.

Winner – ‘#WeThe15’ by FleishmanHillard UK and Adam & Eve/DDB for the International Paralympic Committee

Some 1.2 billion people are disabled, accounting for 15 per cent of the world’s population. Yet disabled people are often stereotyped as objects of pity or put on a pedestal for their achievements.

Read: PRWeek UK Awards 2022: Winners revealed

Seeking to change the narrative around disability, the International Paralympic Committee brought in FleishmanHillard UK to launch its #WeThe15 campaign, created with Adam & Eve/DDB, calling for disability visibility, inclusion and accessibility.

FleishmanHillard was tasked with creating an earned media campaign to spread the message and movement globally. Porter Novelli, Portland, Pentagram and Pulse Films also worked on the campaign, which was launched in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, to capitalise on the global interest in the sporting event.

More than 220 iconic landmarks in 70 countries were illuminated purple – the international colour of disability – for 24 hours on the day of the launch. And a powerful campaign film, featuring 40 people with disabilities celebrating their ordinariness and rejecting the notion that they are ‘special’, was shown during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Paralympics.

Paralympians, celebrities, and prominent supporters acted as spokespeople for the campaign, which was supported by partnerships with Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. It was also promoted by IPC commercial and broadcast partners such as Coca-Cola, Allianz, NBC, and Channel 4.

All this combined to create the biggest ever human rights movement for people with disabilities, with news of the campaign reaching ‌6.2 billion people – almost 80% of the world's population – and 2.5 billion impressions of #WeThe15 on Twitter.

The judges said

This was a piece of grown-up work executed at a massive scale. Outstanding campaign and the entry was expertly put together.

Highly commended – ‘Making a success of Succession season 3’ by Fever for NOW

A PR stunt to promote TV comedy-drama Succession saw a popular storyline brought to life, with a takeover of Scottish football club Hearts by Waystar Royco (the fictional corporation in the show). Hearts agreed to have special shirts printed with Waystar Royco and NOW branding, and Waystar Royco branding was also placed inside the club’s stadium. The story made it onto The Observer’s front page – one of 1,265 pieces of coverage.


‘Delivering sponsorship stardom via pizza, parody and riding pillion’ by W Communications for Papa John’s

‘eBay Dream Transfer’ by Weber Shandwick for eBay

‘Tiger King: The Tiktopera’ by Hope&Glory for Netflix

‘Translated Into Tartan’ by The Romans for Duolingo

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