SPE­CIAL SU­PER HE­ROES

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Me­di­avest pushes the bound­aries to cre­ate ex­pe­ri­ences that mat­ter

The word ‘su­per­hero’ usu­ally con­jures up im­ages of red and blue tights or a black cape and cowl. Yet, su­per­heroes don’t al­ways have to be Su­per­man and Bat­man…some­times su­per­heroes can be young, spe­cial needs chil­dren fight­ing up­hill bat­tles. La­bels like ‘spe­cial’ don’t al­ways do jus­tice to th­ese chil­dren, their per­se­ver­ance and de­sire to over­come hand­i­caps makes them much more than just spe­cial...it makes them su­per.

Us­ing this insight and want­ing to por­tray spe­cial needs chil­dren as real life su­per­heroes, me­dia agency Me­di­avest de­vel­oped a novel con­cept for Dubaibased Al Noor Train­ing Cen­tre for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties, for their client City Cen­tre Malls. The in­spi­ra­tion was to take fo­cus away from the chil­dren’s ‘dis­abil­i­ties’ and to bring to light their ‘abil­i­ties’ in a fun, tan­gi­ble and re­lat­able man­ner. Since all chil­dren grow up want­ing to be a su­per­hero, the idea brought to life the in­ner su­per­hero of each of th­ese spe­cial needs chil­dren, lit­er­ally.

Sit­ting down in fun, im­mer­sion ses­sions with twenty young spe­cial needs chil­dren, the agency asked them to talk about them­selves, their likes and dis­likes and even­tu­ally about their favourite su­per­heroes. The con­ver­sa­tion soon shifted to the chil­dren de­scrib­ing what they would be like if they were a su­per­hero with spe­cial pow­ers. A black and blue-cloaked Bat­woman, Thor wear­ing cricket pads, a green cos­tumed Spi­derman and a Ten­nis rac­quetwield­ing Su­per­girl were just some of the de­scrip­tors heard. A graphic artist lis­ten­ing in on the live con­ver­sa­tion then sketched the de­scrip­tors in real time. The ses­sions ended with a quick 3D face scan of each child that cap­tured their fea­tures.

The sketches were then dig­i­tally con­verted and the face scans ‘meshed’ on to the bod­ies us­ing spe­cial soft­ware, painstak­ingly fine-tuned for pos­ing, and even­tu­ally 3D printed to life in the form of cus­tom-made 15 cen­time­ter su­per­hero fig­urines com­plete with each child’s ac­tual face and su­per­hero body as de­scribed by them - a phys­i­cal, life­long re­minder of what makes them su­per.

“We at Star­com Me­di­avest Group be­lieve in cre­at­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that mat­ter, and this cam­paign de­liv­ered on point. We were able to take some­thing in­tan­gi­ble like hu­man imag­i­na­tion and turn it into a tan­gi­ble ob­ject,” says Tauseef An­war, as­so­ciate di­rec­tor at Me­di­avest.

The cam­paign showed a side to th­ese chil­dren that is sel­dom as­so­ci­ated with spe­cial needs, and suc­cess­fully flipped their lim­i­ta­tions and turned them into their ‘su­per­pow­ers’. Me­di­avest had de­liv­ered the kind of ex­pe­ri­ences that mat­ter to­day, which got flaw­lessly merged with City Cen­tre’s brand prom­ise, which is to cre­ate great mo­ments for ev­ery­one.

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