Embrace Life PSA Wins YouTube Ad of the Year

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If you can't watch this ad without it bringing a tear to your eye, then something is very wrong with you. Well, maybe that's just us but it is one of the best ads ever created. We're talking about the wondrous Alexander Commercials-created ad called Embrace Life for the UK's Sussex Safer Roads during which a father is saved, in tear-jerking slow motion, by his daughter and wife who take on the role of seatbelt.

The ad just won YouTube's Ad of the Year Award, besting Old Spice's I'm on a Horse.

Copyranter points out the ad came from a relative unkown and nabbed only a Bronze at Cannes. You don't have to be famous and work for a big agency to create great work.

To date, the ad has been viewed over 11 million times on YouTube.

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by Steve Hall    Nov-19-10    
Topic: Best, Cause, Industry Events



Drunk Driving Arrest Plays Out Over Social Media

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We've all seen those gut-wrenching PSAs that urge us not to drink and drive. The ones that show the emotionally intense ramifications of that poor decision. From the simple to full-on death and dismemberment. We're late to this but this new PSA from Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing for the Texas Department of Transportation takes a decidedly different approach.

We see a tweet about meeting for a drink at a local bar. The entire scenario then unfolds online on social media platforms such as Twitter, SMS, Facebook, Gowalla(?), online banking, Google, Gmail and LinkedIn. From start to finish, the story is told using today's methods of communication.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-23-10    
Topic: Best, Cause, Social



Domestic Abuse Rarely Stops

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Here's a domestic violence PSA that clearly shares the horrific violence of domestic abuse without actually showing the violence. And yet, it's more powerful than PSA's that do show the violence. Created by Y&R Chicago for the National Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline, the work is beautifully executed and brings us inside the mind of the victim if only for a minute to share her tragedy. And it delivers a truism about domestic violence: it rarely stops.

The spot is accompanied by Peter Gabriel's eerie Mercy Street as the woman looks at herself in the mirror, tries to heal herself only to realize there's no end to it. Unless, of course, she calls the NDVH hotline.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-23-10    
Topic: Best, Cause



Cannes Lions: Richard Gorodecky on Tansu, Clones and Life as a Hologram

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Last week, before all the Cannes fun and games were over, I scored an interview with ECD Richard Gorodecky of Amsterdam Worldwide (@amsterdamww).

You remember AW as the agency that did the Tansu shoe for Onitsuka Tigers, which won Design Gold at Cannes Lions in the Corporate/Brand Identity category.

Some background: this giant shoe is composed of multiple cupboards and openings in the Japanese Tansu style. Users that are able to unlock the compartments get to keep what's inside. The agency also made a digital version with revelations that include product information and free stuff.

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A little context on this interview: he, Kerrie Finch and I took seats on the terrace of the Majestic. We made small-talk and every once in awhile they'd randomly mention suckling pig.

"I don't get this reference," I said after about the eighth time.

"Let me explain," Kerrie said. "You know that question, 'Is TV the new hearth'? We were saying earlier that it can't be the new hearth because you can't roast a suckling pig on it."

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Welcome Back to Cannes, Ladies and Gents

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It isn't what it used to be, but there's something about Cannes that still excites. It's a place apart, where you're plunged willy-nilly into a life that doesn't belong to you for an inordinate amount of time. For that reason, alighting on it yearly feels a bit like coming home, and the expectation that rises inside is a welcome feeling.

I arrived around 1 in the morning, following a long train delay in Paris thanks mostly to a workers strike. (This is normal.) Because it's a small town, I walked to my hotel: 6 minutes from the train station. This is a convenient city once you know it, and despite the constant barrage of tourists and entitled conference folk, it doesn't change much.

I am staying in a place that lacks sex appeal but has free secured wifi and is clean. The window has an excellent view of Curves, an American weight-loss chain that caters primarily to working women.

It's funny how the sight of something you haven't seen in a long time takes you elsewhere: Curves, an unlikely nostalgic device, brings me back to Oakland's business district, where I contemplated registering on my lunch breaks until a friend told me I'd be joining "fat camp for deluded feminists." I didn't think about it again.

But you're not here for reminiscences of lost fitness aspirations; you're here to read about the Lions. That's cool, let's get down to business.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-20-10    
Topic: Agencies, Best, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Industry Events



Amnesty International Puts Death Penalty to Death

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In a moving and stirring new TBWA\Paris-created commercial, Amnesty International has eloquently stated its position on the death penalty and is urging the rest of us to see it their way. By metaphorically killing off the very things used to carry out the death penalty - the chair, the rifle, the noose, the saber - the cause group wants the 58 countries who still carry out the death penalty to join the 139 who don't.

Initially, TBWA Paris and director Pleix wanted to create the entire spot in camera, shooting real statues created out of wax. But in initial tests it was discovered that it was too difficult to shoot melting wax without it looking like stop-motion, so the film was almost completely done in CG except for a few live action elements.

No matter your stand on the issue, you have to admit the work is beautiful.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-10    
Topic: Best, Commercials, Creative Commentary



American Airlines Gracefully Pays Respects to Military Personel

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In case you haven't heard, we are at war. In at least two countries at last count. And if you have even the tiniest slice of appreciation for what the military does for this country, you might appreciate this latest work from American Airlines which subtle salutes the men and woman who serve our country.

Other than pay our taxes and truly understand the meaning behind Memorial Day, the least we can do is offer traveling military personnel a chance to get situated on a plane before all the idiots who insist their bags are carry on size, the screaming children and the double wides invade the plane like a bunch of Walmart shoppers on Black Friday.

Thanks TM Advertising for the beautiful work.

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by Steve Hall    Jun- 3-10    
Topic: Best, Commercials



Kia' Rapping Rodents Give Us A New Way to Roll

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There's a lot of ways to advertise a car. Oh wait. No there isn't. There's the winding mountain road and...um...sorry...drawing a blank here. Oh! Oh! Oh! There it is! Gangsta Rapping Rodents. Yea, that's it.

Here they come, yo...

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by Steve Hall    May-28-10    
Topic: Best, Commercials, Strange



Crashed Cars Deliver Drunk Driving Message

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How do they get people to understand the dangers of drunk driving in Israel? They gather together 80 cars that were totaled in accidents, use them to construct a 20 meter tall object in the shape of a bottle and then place the thing alongside the road with a simple message: don't drink and drive.

Shalmor Avnon Amichay/ Y&R Interactive Tel Aviv created.

by Steve Hall    Apr-29-10    
Topic: Best, Outdoor



Nike Sponsors Tiger Woods' Mea Culpa in 'Daddy Death Card' Ad

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Last night, ESPN and The Golf Channel aired a new Nike commercial featuring Tiger Woods...and his dead father. The black and white commercial with Woods in Nike garb staring motionless into the camera is voiced by his late father, Earl Woods, who says, "Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. Did you learn anything?"

Of the commercial and Woods, himself, Nike said in a statement, "We support Tiger and his family. As he returns to competitive golf, the ad addresses his time away from the game using the powerful words of his father."

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-10    
Topic: Best, Celebrity, Commercials, Opinion, Strange, Worst










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