In Japan, only 1% of the population watch Para sports. One reason these sports struggle to reach mainstream audiences is because people don’t understand the challenges faced by individual athletes and therefore don’t fully appreciate the immense skill involved to compete.
With the aim of helping people visualize and comprehend the challenges of Paralympians, TBWA HAKUHODO has produced special ping pong tables for the Japan Para Table Tennis Association (JPTTA), exhibiting how some of their national athletes experience the sport.
There is a wide variation in the disabilities of individual athletes and therefore the physical obstacles faced by each player are different. Even while playing on the same rectangular table, the shape they feel as they move around the table is personally unique.
The Para Pingpong Tables replicate the world seen through the athletes’ eyes and each was designed based on interviews and sketches from members of the Japanese national team.
Created by TBWA HAKUHODO, the tables are part of a holistic rebrand for JPTTA—from developing a new name and logo, to designing and producing a dynamic new website concept.
The campaign also serves as a new intuitive communication tool that helps graphically profile players based on their perspective of the table. This better informs viewers about each athlete’s unique challenges, adding greater depth for new spectators.
The Para Pingpong Tables promote diversity and allow for better appreciation of the physical obstacles Paralympians face every day in their pursuit of excellence in the sport. They are available to be rented by commercial facilities, event spaces, and schools that want to experience them.
2019 Cannes Lions: Gold (Design), Bronze (Industry Craft)