Support Your Vet. No, Not the One Who Spays Pets.

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The Ad Council just released a slew of Saatchi & Saatchi-created PSAs that encourage families to engage in conversation with veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

We like the approach; it's neither pushy nor garishly patriotic. It's gentle.

See "Signs," our favourite; more at supportyourvet.org.

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by Angela Natividad    May- 6-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Television



Hospital Cancer Campaign Avoids Schmaltz. Still Pulls Heart Strings

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Every time we see a cancer ad, it's like "Oh please, not again with the sappy emo crap." But upon viewing these four spots for Akron Children's Hospital, we felt quite differently. Oh sure, they bring on the emotion, particularly the two featuring the brother and sister of a 3-year-old with leukemia, but they do it in a way that is entirely human and completely unproduced.

And that's because they weren't produced. More specifically, they were crafted by director of photography Andreas Von Scheele who spent 30-40 hours filming the commercial's subjects alone with no director or agency types hanging around the set. Yes, there was a director, Kevin Kerwin of Authentic Films but he stayed away from the shoot and out of sight.

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by Steve Hall    May- 4-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good



Child Pornographers Should Be Hung by Their Balls

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Ever want to beat the shit out of someone? You will after watching this commercial from ecpat, a French organization which fights child pornography. Pornography is one thing when it's among consenting adults. It's entirely a different (and horrific) thing when it involves children. Via.

by Steve Hall    Apr-29-09    
Topic: Cause



Pfizer Defends Merits of Dead Rat with (Over)Informative Making-Of

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A few months ago Pfizer released an ad meant to discourage people from buying prescription drugs from unregulated sources like the 'net.

In the moralistic, painfully allegorical tone cause spots sometimes adopt, it featured a man checking his mail, popping a pill and bemusedly pulling a dead rat out of his throat.

The ad naturally generated flak for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which regulates ads in the UK and has, based on X number of adamant letters, banned ads for a wide variety of reasons -- from claims to increase eyelash length to, well, heresy.

The ASA ultimately decided Pfizer's counterfeit medicine ad didn't breach code, which means it can still run in the UK. But in some warped knee-jerk effort to clear the public mind of any wrongdoing on its part, the pharma decided to produce a making-of.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-28-09    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Video



Students Urged to Take Action For Darfur

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JWT Toronto has created a new commercial for STAND (Students Take Action Now Darfur) which follows a boy and his family as his village is attacked and the boy is killed while his brother looks on. The commercial closes with the boy stating his name and the tags, "Every death has a name. Every name has a story."

The spot points to Stand For the Dead where visitors can be "assigned an individual who has been killed in the genocide and carry on their fight now they are no longer able."

The commercial is oddly soothing for something that's supposed to call attention to a horrific situation. However, it's accessible as opposed to an in-your-face live action commercial that would just come off like some action movie with no meaning. This commercial draws you in and gives personality to the issue.

by Steve Hall    Apr-28-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials



Cool Tobacco Peeps Publish Nikoteen For Young Hipsters

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Kelliher Samets Volk has launched Nikoteen, an online magazine to help the Vermont Department of Health expose the apparently deceptive marketing practices of tobacco companies. Nikoteen mimics popular youth-oriented Web sites for music, celebrities, sports and horoscopes.

The Nikoteen site is accessible via the Web site for Our Voices Xposed. The OVX site includes information on tobacco companies as well as the opportunity to enter OVX Studios where visitors can cast actors, choose scenes and select products to place in their own movies. OVX is a youth-led, youth-run movement in Vermont that is focused on exposing the truth about the deceptive marketing practices of tobacco companies.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-28-09    
Topic: Cause



You Can Never Have Enough White Space.

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ANIMAL New York's Bucky Turco and crew decided to take back some of the space taken over by NPA, a wild posting kinda firm. (Pics and full story of the day's whitewashing activites here.) NYC's Department of Building Sign Enforcement has laws against ads on certain spaces, but according to the notice left by the group, NPA and building owners don't seem to be following those laws. Artists then came in and made things all perty. [ Post-jump ]

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by Bill Green    Apr-27-09    




Stephen Cowbert's Product Placement.

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Let's just call it what it is: Product placement. Branded entertainment? Documercials? Infotainment? Whatever. It's still product placement, just handled a little more deftly these days, (but not always). Last night, Colbert does his usual straight act on steroids routine and plugged away as Heifer International West African program director Elizabeth Bintliff took it in stride. Can't find fault with it though because it's for a good cause. Heifer is the latest to get some brand love outside of a commercial, even though they've been around since 1944.

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by Bill Green    Apr-24-09    
Topic: Announcements, Cause



Beards, Not Bears.

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Bears not your thing? Try growing one for the team. If, your team is the Boston Bruins. Sorry Ranger fans. More info on this Cenergy work at Beardathon.com/bruins and in the clip below.

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by Bill Green    Apr-22-09    




Because Watching Kids Cry Just Never Gets Old

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Your tax dollars at work. Hey, pushing a kid to emotional breaking-point is small potatoes compared to all that guilt equity! the New York State Health Department will raise among smokers for the 5.5 minutes they could be spending with a cancer stick.

Contemplate the moral dilemma with fellow creatives-in-arms, and then ask yourself, just ask -- are a few seconds of anxiety worth it? It's not like smokers don't know about the health consequences, or that their priorities are mildly screwed up (I always feel a little guilty lighting up in front of tots); does one sappy spot a quitter make?

This emo thinkpiece brought to you by Quit Victoria.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-16-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Television










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