We the (in)visible: New McDonald’s ad aims to give Para Sport visibility

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A powerful new campaign from McDonald’s Germany and Jung von Matt SPORTS, called We the (in)visible, advocates for greater visibility in para sports, by portraying “invisible” feats of athleticism.

We the (in)visible 

In the spot, “We the (in)visible,” athletes in various disciplines such as wheelchair basketball, Para swimming, or Para athletics gradually gain the visibility they deserve.

Initially, the sports moments are shown without the performing athletes: a basketball sails across a court by itself; a splash appears in a pool without the swimmer diving in; a scoreboard flickers in front of empty stands.

Towards the end of the film, it’s revealed who the invisible sports heroes are: para sport athletes passionately, joyfully, and successfully practicing their sport.

Among them is Léon Schäfer, the current world champion and world record holder in the long jump for athletes with thigh amputation and the recently crowned Para Athlete of the Year 2023.

The digital ad marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, is art of a wider month long campaign promoting the partnership between McDonald’s Germany and the German Disabled Sports Association (DBS).

It aims to promote greater visibility of Para Sports (which can sadly often be played in front of empty stands) as well as increased social participation by disabled people in everyday life and sports.

The campaign breaks ahead of the Paralympics in Paris 2024,  but the focus is not only on top athletes and competitive sports but also on inclusion in grassroots and youth sports.

McDonald’s, with 1,425 restaurants in Germany and 1.6 million daily guests, believes it can make a significant contribution to everyday visibility—especially by providing reach and information about opportunities and diverse possibilities related to sports inclusion.

As well as the hero film, the campaign will include digital out-of-home, online ads, and social media.

The creative concept and execution are by Jung von Matt SPORTS, which has worked with McDonald’s Germany in the sports sector since 2018.

The Craft & Production Unit of Jung von Matt HAMBURG also worked on the campaign, with video production handled by Sterntag Film and media planning by OMD Munich.

“We are proud to be the new partner of the DBS. Sport is a key factor for many people with or without disabilities to achieve greater social participation.

“Inclusion is also a crucial element in professional life. McDonald’s Germany was one of the first signatories of the Diversity Charter in 2007 because everyone is welcome here—whether in front or behind the counter,” said Markus Weiß, spokesperson for McDonald’s Germany.

Among the 194 franchisees of McDonald’s Germany, many have been engaged in sports and local club activities for decades, including involvement in disabled sports.

Engagement for more inclusion:

As part of the partnership with the DBS, various activations are planned for greater visibility in Para Sports and increased participation in society and employment, such as advising the DEI network established in May.

According to official figures, around 10.4 million people with severe or mild disabilities live in Germany.

Last year, McDonald’s received very positive feedback from Para Sports clubs and families with children with disabilities for including a wheelchair basketball Smurf as a toy in the Happy Meal—a small gesture for inclusion that garnered special attention.