A new Special Olympics-Y&R multimedia collaboration has resulted in the most popular video content Special Olympics has ever posted.
The video – titled “Born Apart” -- was originally created to promote the Special Olympics Latin American Regional Games in April. Versions of that piece aired on ESPN/ABC in March during the 2017 World Games in Austria.
After World Games, Special Olympics and Y&R worked on creative ways to bring the video to a wider audience.
“The piece promotes full inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) by telling the story of two brothers joined not only by blood, but by shared passions of sport and competition,” said Ryan Eades, Director of Digital and Social Engagement for Special Olympics.
"Our team identified National Siblings Day (April 10) in the U.S. as a great opportunity to highlight this great content."
Y&R helped frame a powerful narrative on how sibling unity and inclusion are at the heart of Special Olympics – starting with the special bond between Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her sister, Rosemary.
Through “Born Apart,” that story is reimagined for today’s global audience, with a new brand emphasis on complete inclusion for people with ID through sports, health, education, civic roles and entertainment.
When a 60-second version of the video was posted to Special Olympics’ Facebook page on National Siblings Day it took less than 18 hours to receive one million views. As the video garnered another three million views on Day 2 it had officially gone viral.
As of May 19, “Born Apart” has been viewed more than 11 million times and reached over 28.5 million people! It has been shared on Facebook over 116,000 times. Many of the post’s more than 2,500 comments say the video inspired them to go and volunteer for Special Olympics.
"This is the most successful Facebook post we’ve ever done," said Eades. “It was a perfect storm of amazing content paired with a moment in time that resonated very strongly with our audience.”
This project is part of the lead-up to Special Olympics’ larger brand campaign around the next year’s 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics.
Special Olympics is working across PR & Marketing channels with our partners to continue to promote this wonderful work. Y&R is submitting the full 84-second film to Cannes Film Festival in May.