Heroes of Today, a not-for-profit platform dedicated to ending discrimination and intolerance which is supported by Spain’s LaLiga, launched a haunting video in early May telling stories about female athletes and the sacrifices they make to keep their dreams alive.
‘The Dream’, which was created by agency DDB Spain, opens with a cheering crowd at a women’s gymnastics event, but in the changing room one athlete is struggling and crying and doesn’t want to go out into the arena to compete. Her coach tries to persuade her not to quite amidst training flashback of all the pain, early morning training sessions and years of sacrifice using the line ‘But This Is The Life You Chose”.
Then, as the gymnast walks out with her team to meet the press, her inner voice says “Don’t give up. Be brave. You can’t surrender. Don’t break your dream”, before she turns to the camera and says “I’ve been hearing this shit my whole life. But nobody ever told me what I really needed to hear.”
As she takes her seat at the press conference, the coach passes by and touches her shoulder and the floodgates open and scenes switch to her as a young girl crying in a car and crumpled on a gym mat as the ad reveals that the coach has been abusing her through her career.
The endline states: “If that’s the dream, fuck the dream.”
The film, which was inspired by more than 10,000 real female athlete stories, runs across digital and social channels and on broadcast television via partners AMC Networks’ Canal Hollywood, AMC, AXN and Sundance channels.
Heroes of Today, an organisation which is also supported by an array of major brands including Iberia Airlines, Clinica Baviera Durex, DKV and the FEPM, ?
“The client brief was to raise awareness and encourage debate about the pressure on women in sports and to present a fictional story of someone who heroically stands up to it all,” explained DDB Spain Director Of Client Services Alejandro Lavezzolo. “The brands behind the platform believe this is a new and disruptive message that opened up a necessary conversation. The fact is that thousands of sportswomen have said that this has happened to them. We hope the campaign will kickstart a conversation which will lead to the world of sport paying more attention to these situations and realities.”
The initiative was developed for Heroes of Today by a team at creative agency DDB España which was led by Chief Creative Officer José Ma Roca De Viñals, Executive Creative Directors Daniel Rodríguez and Olaf Cuadras, Client Services Manager Alejandro Lavezzolo, Client Coordinator Miguel Rodriguez, account team members Laura Dos Santos and Marina Mateos, Production Manager Azahara Ramos and Producer Landia.
Production was handled by BRBR with Executive Producer Nico Cabuche, Producer: Alberto Saavedra, Director Of Photography Michal Babinec, Sound Mixer Jorge Alarcón, with music handled by Olivier Arson, the film editor was Ale García and the colourist was Andrés Lopetegui. Post production was handled by Metropolitana, digital production by The OMS and the PR Agency was QMS Comunicación.
This is a powerful film raising serious issues in a direct style with ambitious, cinematic style production.
This latest film follows on from a previous Heroes of Today 2019 project focusing on racism in sports and one in 2021 about homophobia in sports.