If you think you have challenges in life, meet Aaron Fotheringham, a wheelchair-bound 17-year-old who's created a sport called hard core sitting. Basically, it's extreme skateboarding in a wheelchair.
Recently, Discovery Communications hooked up with Fotheringham who appears in a commercial, launching this week, for the Discovery Channel's HowStuffWorks website. Aaron has Spina Bifida and is the first person to perform a backflip in a wheelchair.
This latest work follows an initial campaign for the site which featured a scuba diving cat.
At 72 Croisette (the so-called Gutter Bar) last night, Shannon Stephaniuk introduced me to the members of Ogilvy Stockholm, which won a Gold Lion for its work for UNA Sweden.
Their objective was to raise funds to support the war victims of Georgia (the country, not the state); and to do this, they spoke with the locals and gathered small, specific and personal items that belonged to people affected by the war.
See Shoes, Sweater and Sheet; I found the sight of those scorched, warped items physically painful, and the stories still more moving.
It's my strong feeling that the work deserved a Grand Prix, but apparently you can't win one if the effort is nonprofit. Weird logics. In any case, I hung out awhile and talked to the guys about the work, what they did and how it made them feel in general.
Video interviews below. Given that it's the Gutter Bar at 2:00 AM and not, say, an Embassy lobby, try to bear with the background noise. Better yet, imagine you're there, stumbling around with your third vodka tonic, playing guess-the-accent with your group of chums-for-the-week.
We hate Box Tops. We hate the mess they make when family members collect thousands of them to raise money for various educational causes. OK, so we really don't hate Box Tops but we do hate the process one must go through just to see their benefit. It's like coupons and Sunday circulars. Why create and print all that crap when you could just give the discount/donation anyway? Oh, we know. It's becasue you really don't want to give things away so you make it really hard for people to take advantage of what you're sort of offering.
Despite this opinion, enough people have clipped enough Box Tops to raise $300 million for schools. So that's not a bad thing. They've even made a little video to celebrate.
We still hate the mess they make though.
We could use a little Scientology right now. After all, according to the church's new commercial, "you are not your name, you're not your job, you're not the clothes you wear or the neighborhood you live in. You're not your fears, your failures or your past."
And there's more. "You are hope. You are imagination. You are the power to change, to create and to grow. You are a spirit that will never die. And no matter how beaten down, you will rise again."
Wouldn't it be nice to cast off the irrelevant, supposedly unimportant, aspects of your life - all that heavy baggage that drags you down - and just start over anew with hope, imagination and "the power to change." The only problem? You can't simply cast those things off because they are part of you and they do define you. They are your history. They are your personality. They are you.
First ad I saw upon entering the Palais. Where better than a sweltering, decadent vacation spot to remind us of the dire consequences of climate change?
Somewhat less depressing than the wrist slitter cause ad that appeared on BART trains during New Years Eve '06.
Toward its goal of creating "social advertising that actually makes a difference," Osocio sent us what looks like a hand-drawn print in which grinning creatives in suits stand around bearing trophies while people around them starve and emaciate.
"Awards can't feed the hungry," the piece reads, adding that, every year, hundreds of PSAs are made for the wrong reasons.
We digs. Work by Steal Our Ideas.
Productivity isn't always about the next "Got Milk?". To get creatives elbow-deep in their local community soup kitchens, Cossette/New York produced the a clever little intro for Agencies in Action's website.
It tackles the upcoming Cannes Lions debauchery head-on, kind of uglifies the whole thing, and wraps up with the tagline in that leads this article.
Go do good, guys, in addition to all the other good things you do anyway.
Throw open that beach towel, get a public service announcement: "You're probably not expecting to drown today." Not especially, no.
Other fun-tastic messages in ideal places include "You're probably not expecting to need a helmet today" and "Being run over while jaywalking only happens to other people."
And here are some highly depressing, but decidedly effective, TV spots. Sobering stuff for preventable.ca by Wasserman + Partners/Vancouver.
It's not as bad as it sounds. To encourage women to get regular Pap smears, and to promote its Cervical Cancer Screening Program, BC Cancer Agency partnered with Cineplex Odeon Theatres to air "Eye of the Cervix" in theatres.
Friendly enough ad. The curtain opens to reveal a pretty, congenial doctor. She asks if we're comfortable, does a quick swab and decisively says, "And we're done."
Closing lines bring it home: "It doesn't take long to prevent cervical cancer. Remember to have regular Pap tests."
We like it just fine, and it even made us feel productive, but here's where wanky boyfriends turn to their partners and go, "When was the last time you got checked?"
Heh, this is highLARity. For Sustrans, which campaigns for sustainable transport in the UK by promoting a bike-or-walk commute, Rubber Republic launched Elejumper.
The object of the advergame is to build enough steam for the elephant to slide onto a ramp with sufficient momentum to get himself to work. Probably the best part about it is you can hit space bar mid-flight to flap his ears, and if you flap them while he's on the ground he kind of just lays there, thumping pathetically. Oh how we LOLed.
The game's objective is to promote Sustrans' Change Your World 2009 challenge, where, for the week beginning June 29th, people are invited to swap their cars out for more earth-friendly transport. If all car users do it for just one day, traffic is expected to go down 20% that week.
Pledge your support at the Change Your World site or at the end of the game.