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Saatchi & Saatchi Belgrade Helps Solve Case of Murdered Journalist

In December, Saatchi & Saatchi Belgrade launched a provocative campaign called “Chronicles of Threats” for Serbian Commission for the Investigation of Murders of Journalists and Office of the OSCE’s Representative on Freedom of the Media.

The campaign featured a threatening letter in one of the country’s most widely circulated newspapers, with an accompanying video on the news outlet’s website, intended to shake public indifference to violence against journalists and rally “media outlets and journalists to document real and threatened acts of violence towards editorial staff, writers and photographers.”

“Chronicles of Threats” succeeded in getting the public’s attention. Thousands called the police in response to the threat, and soon it was featured on the news. When the stunt was revealed, it sparked debate about the kind of threats journalists receive daily. But the campaign also led to the reopening of three cases of murdered journalists, and in one case — Slavko Curuvija, “the most influential independent journalist reporting during the Milosevic regime,” who was murdered 15 years ago — to the arrest of the perpetrators of the crime.

Saatchi & Saatchi Belgrade’s executive creative director Veljko Golubovic commented: “I think the “Chronicles of Threats” campaign is a great example of true power of modern communications. Even one simple idea can move mountains and push the whole society forward. What was impossible yesterday is today’s reality. Our idea was initiation of the chain reaction that led to solving a murder case. And more than that it changed the way people feel and think about journalists.” Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

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Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

Enso Explains How Google Responds to Search Warrants

Google, which recently published a report on government requests for user information following last year’s FISA lawsuit, wants its users to know that they’re doing everything they can to protect their privacy while still complying with government programs. So they tapped California-based agency Enso to create a stop-motion animation explaining how Google responds to U.S. search warrants.

The 3:24 video explains in detail Google’s standard response to U.S. search warrants for user information; from upholding the fourth amendment upon information requests; to a screener, who sorts and prioritizes search warrants; to the producer, who examines warrants and determines what info to provide; to the custodian of records representing Google in court. Enso depicts the whole process as a game board, with individuals involved as game pieces, as a way to go about simplifying what can seem like a very complex process. They do a good job at showing Google going through great lengths to protect user privacy whenever possible, while still complying with government demands when those demands are reasonable and constitutional, positioning the company on the right side of users’ outrage over the U.S. governments’ invasion of Internet privacy. It’s a bit of tightrope walk, as Google wants to appear to serve its users privacy interests without risking coming across as an impediment to legitimate inquiries, but, luckily for Google, Enso is up to the task.

Team Detroit Riffs on Rogue’s Cadillac ‘Poolside’ Spot for Ford

Team Detroit has released a new spot for Ford that riffs on (some might say parodies) the recent Cadillac “Poolside” commercial from Rogue promoting the myth that hard work makes America superior to other countries who take a month off in August and value quality of life over property, ending with a winking “N’est-ce pas?” aimed at that traditional target of misplaced American ire, France, the country with the best health care system in the world.

Ford’s spot focuses on Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt, “a compost company working to turn forgotten parcels of land in Detroit into urban farms that not only feed, but revitalize our community.” Murray spends time collecting organic waste from offices, factories, and even manure from the Detroit zoo, to turn into compost. Unlike the smug Neal McDonough in Cadillac’s spot, Murray works hard to try to make her city, and the world, a better place. Team Detroit matches the pacing and imitates the tone of Cadillac’s spot, but with a completely different message. While Rogue’s Cadillac spot attempted to appeal to the kind of self-important conservatives who typically wouldn’t be attracted to an electric vehicle in an attempt to tap into a new market, Team Detroit and Ford take the opposite approach here — appealing to the kinds of environmental evangelists historically drawn to fossil fuel alternatives. Stick around after the jump for a “Poolside” refresher. Read more

BETC Paris, B-Reel Create ‘Names Not Numbers’ for Médecins du Monde

Each year, 300,000 women die from pregnancy-related complications or unsafe abortions. To bring this statistic to life, production company B-Reel conceived and created “Names Not Numbers” for ad agency BETC Paris and Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World), “a new experiential installation and digital experience” giving names to the women in the faceless statistic.

On International Women’s Day, March 8th, on a public street in Paris’ 3rd distict, B-Reel and BETC Paris unveiled their “Machine of Death” — “an artfully constructed and coldly methodical device that, each minute, cursively prints the given name of an actual woman who has died in childbirth or during an unsafe abortion.” After the name is printed, onlookers have 60 seconds to claim the card before it is dropped into a bin and lost forever. The cards include details on methods to help put an end to this tragedy on their flip side, and recipients are urged to sign the card and send it to local politicians or UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.

“This machine is a factory of death,” says Florence Bellisson, creative director at BETC, in a statement. “We are forced to confront this tragedy, live. It’s difficult to imagine that even today a woman’s right to choose what happens with her own body is not universal. This machine will become a weapon of salvation if every name it produces lands on the desk of someone who holds the key to change.”

The harrowing “Names Not Numbers” experience was captured in a digital short film (featured above), shot by B-Reel “at Stockholm’s Independent Studios and on location in Paris on March 8th.” Visitors to the “Names Not Numbers” website are given a minute following the film’s conclusion to retrieve, sign and send out their card through social media, in a digital recreation of the original experience. Claim your card now, and stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Greenpeace Takes P&G/Head & Shoulders Protest Straight to Saatchi & Saatchi

GP0STO9ANThis Wednesday we brought you news of Greenpeace’s campaign exposing Procter & Gamble’s destructive palm oil sourcing practices in Indonesia and calling on the company to change their ways with a “Thank You, Mom” referencing video and a protest at P&G’s Cincinnati headquarters.

Now, Greenpeace has taken the campaign to Saatchi & Saatchi, who advertise the company’s Head & Shoulder’s product (which Greenpeace has chosen as a prime target). “Saatchi and Saatchi have spent years understanding how the public thinks. They’ll know that P&G’s customers want to wash away dandruff without wiping out tigers. So who better to advise it to break its ties with forest destruction?” said Richard George, forests campaigner at Greenpeace UK.

Greenpeace volunteers set up a division lobby at Saatchi & Saatchi’s London offices today, forcing staff arriving at the office to choose between a “Protect Forests” entrance and a “Destroy Forests” entrance. While workers arrived, Greenpeace volunteers kept tallies on which entrances they chose, with 163 workers choosing the “Protect Forests” entrance and 48 opting for “Destroy Forests.” A Greenpeace volunteer in an orangutan costume (orangutans habitats are being destroyed for the palm oil plantations that P&G uses to source their palm oil) was also on hand for the event.

“From the results of our survey, with 211 Saatchi employees passing through the division lobby and 163 choosing the ‘protect forests’ lobby, it looks as though they’re not really in favour of forest destruction after all. A lot of P&G customers feel the same way. Hopefully Saatchi’s will pass that on to their client,” George said. We’ve included Greenpeace’s “Thank You, Mom” tackling video above, in case you need a refresher. Let us know what you think of the group’s Saatchi & Saatchi office invasion in the comments section if you wish. Read more

Greenpeace Takes On P&G, ‘Thank You, Mom’

Greenpeace released what they’re calling a “parody video of Procter & Gamble’s ‘Thank You Mom’ advertisement showing how P&G’s supply chain is contributing to the orphaning of orangutans.” The video (which I really don’t think qualifies as a “parody”) uses that commercial to point out the hypocrisy in P&G’s maintenance of a wholesome image while the company continues a dubious environmental record. Greenpeace’s video ends with the message: “Destroying forests for palm oil plantations means some of us no longer have a mom. Thank you, P&G.” (before directing viewers to their campaign site).

Specifically, Greenpeace is maintaining that Procter & Gamble — like Unilever, whom the organization targeted back in 2007 and who just happened to team up with P&G in a European washing powder price-fixing scheme in 2011 — is obtaining its palm oil from sources contributing to vast deforestation in Indonesia. The company’s palm oil sourcing practices, Greenpeace says they found in a yearlong report, are not only orphaning orangutans but also contributing to the extinction of the Sumatran tiger.

Greenpeace also organized a protest at Procter & Gamble’s downtown Cincinnati headquarters yesterday, where nine activists somehow got into the building, “rappelled down the 17-story twin towers of the…headquarters…and unfurled two enormous banners to protest deforestation linked to palm oil,” reports the Cincinnati Business Courier. The banners — which read (each accompanied by a Head and Shoulders logo) “Stop Putting Tiger Survival on the Line” and “Wipes Out Dandruff and Rainforests” — were “strung on wires between the two towers by the climbers, one of whom was wearing a tiger costume.” (You can view images from the protest here.)

Greenpeace is hoping the protest, along with the video and campaign site, will cause Procter & Gamble to reevaluate their palm oil sourcing methods. “While Procter & Gamble were advertising about motherhood, companies that produce palm oil for P&G have been making orphans out of orangutans. Together, we can get P&G to commit to only using forest-friendly palm oil,” said Greenpeace’s Areeba Hamid.

“We have already begun a full investigation of all claims made in the report,” P&G spokeswoman Lisa Popyk said, adding, “…we have committed to 100 percent sustainable sourcing of palm oil by 2015. We are working with our suppliers to ensure we deliver this commitment.”

Evolve Asks Gun Owners Not to Be Dumbasses

Today, Saatchi & Saatchi New York is launching the first ever campaign for the gun responsibility organization Evolve, encouraging people to take personal responsibility for gun safety and generally not be dumbasses.

Saatchi & Saatchi’s pro-bono campaign features a short, satirical video called “The Bill of Rights for Dumbasses.” The 1:40 video portrays Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures debating the language of the second amendment. Jefferson thinks the amendment runs a little long, and after much debate, convinces the rest of the council to remove the “as long as they aren’t being dumbasses about it” part from the amendment. While the founding fathers are debating the matter, viewers are treated to a humorous montage of gun owners engaging in questionable practices, before Jefferson concludes it’s common sense that you shouldn’t act that way with a gun. The video ends with the founding fathers playing pinata with a gun, followed by the tagline, “It’s the right to bear arms, not the right to be dumbass” and a message prompting viewers to go to and sign the code of gun responsibility.

Evolve co-founder Rebecca Bond hopes that “Humor can be a gateway to taking away the defensiveness that is the legacy of these discussions.” Joe Bond, also an Evovle co-founder, added, “We want the ‘Dumbass’ concept to catch on in popular culture the way ‘friends don’t let friends drive drunk’ did for safe driving.”

Since it’s rare to find people discussing guns without getting hysterical about it, Saatchi & Saatchi’s employment of dumb humor is somewhat refreshing. But will it really chip away at the defensiveness that gun rights activists feel when discussing anything related to guns? Or are they more likely to take offense at the video depicting gun owners, and even founding fathers, as dumbasses? Unfortunately, I doubt the video will convince many viewers to “take on the code,” because even though Evolve professes to be a “third voice” in the gun debate without political affiliation, gun rights activists will still likely view the video’s satire as an attack on them. Meanwhile, the video will appeal to plenty of gun reform proponents — people who don’t need any convincing on the importance of gun safety, and mostly don’t own guns (and therefore have no need to take Evolve’s pledge). That’s too bad, because Evolve’s responsibility code is really just common sense and something any gun owner should be able to get behind — which makes this feel like a missed opportunity. Credits after the jump.

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Happiness Brussels Spies on the NSA

Spy on the NSA

Coming off the latest (not so surprising) revelations of the misuse of NSA data, Happiness Brussels has launched “Spy on the NSA,” a site which gives the the NSA a taste of its own medicine in support of, “a massive digital protest against mass surveillance taking place across the internet today.” Among those participating today as well are Reddit, Amnesty International, Tumblr, Upworthy and Greenpeace.

The “Spy on the NSA” site turns the camera on the National Security Agency’s Maryland headquarters. Happiness Brussels describes it as its “own statement against the mass surveillance and privacy issues that are occurring right now.” They also wonder “how long they can keep the site online, before it gets shut down.” The site gives visitors the opportunity to record a selection of Happiness Brussels’ surveillance to share on social media. Check out the site here (while you still can), and, if you haven’t already, head on over to to take a stand against the NSA’s abhorrent abuse of your constitutional rights.

Memac O&M Extends UN Women Campaign with ‘The Autocomplete Truth’

The latest in Dubai-based Memac Ogilvy & Mather’s campaign for United Nations Women is the affecting 1:30 video, “The Autocomplete Truth.” This short video comes on the heels of the virally successful print/online campaign launched this September that attempted to “start a conversation on the major barriers that are in place of women’s economic, political and social empowerment across the globe” — issues central to UN Women.

“The Autocomplete Truth” began, according to the Memac Ogilvy announce, when the team did a search for the term “women should” and were astounded by the sexist autocorrect results: “women should stay at home,” “women should be slaves,” “women should be in the kitchen,” “women should not speak in church.” The short video begins positively, with a montage of women’s rights achievements from women’s suffrage to Sarah Attar‘s appearance in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Then the video poses the question of where we are today, before answering with the troubling autocomplete results. It comes as a bit of a shock following the optimistic portrayal of women’s rights successes that precedes it, a perfect way to disrupt the impression that society has somehow advanced beyond sexism and illustrate the continued importance of women’s rights campaigns.

Although I don’t question the veracity of the team’s March 9, 2013 Google searches (location obviously has a significant impact on results), I wondered what my own Google search for “Women should” would bring up. The results were a bit more optimistic, with the top results: “women shoulder bags,” “women should be in combat,” “women shoulder exercises,” and “women should be allowed in combat.” I’ll take “shoulder bags” over “should be slaves” any day, of course. However, when I repeated the experiment with some of the other search terms from the print campaign, my results were pretty much in line with the those of the campaign. My “women shouldn’t” search had “go to business school” as the top result, go figure. Pretty depressing stuff, and ample evidence that discrimination against women is still a dominant force in 2013. Misogynistic commenters of AgencySpy, please stay the fuck out of this one.

There’s More to Toronto Than a Crack-Smoking Mayor, #MoreThanFord Reminds Us

By now (unless you’re completely cut off from all news outlets and/or in a coma) you’ve heard of the crack-smoking shenanigans of Toronto’s disgraceful, conservative mayor, Rob Ford. Ford recently admitted to smoking crack (following an online leak of video evidence), adding that it was ”probably in one of my drunken stupors.” Obviously, people from Toronto are less than thrilled about Ford making their city the butt of a million crack jokes. The fact that Ford not only refuses to resign, but also plans to run for reelection, certainly doesn’t make things any easier.

Marie Richer and Hannah Smit, two Toronto art directors, found it “depressing that a city as great as Toronto has been reduced to an international punchline because of its mayor,” and decided to do something about it. They’ve created a social media campaign called #MoreThanFord, an outlet for disgruntled Toronto-dwellers to express everything they love about their city in an attempt to escape being defined by one especially douchey politician. Richer and Smith describe the campaign as “a way for us all to change the conversation about our city by sharing what we love about it – from small things like a favourite coffee shop, roti place or bike path to bigger things like Pride, TIFF, Nuit Blanche, the Jays, etc.” (Although, given their dismal 2013 performance, you may want to leave the Jays out of it.)

The idea launches today, with the compilation video of Toronto highlights featured above. The campaign’s success is being measured at a microsite,, which pits tweets with the #MoreThanFord hashtag against tweets with the #RobFord hashtag. #MoreThanFord already seems to be catching on, currently leading at 53% as I write this. The #MoreThanFord site invites visitors to tweet what they love about Toronto, or to let #MoreThanFord take over your feed and tweet for you. It also allows visitors to watch the #MoreThanFord video.

I’ve only been to Toronto once, for a short visit, but found it to be a charming city. It’s really sad to see any city’s reputation hijacked by one crazy, crack-smoking, racist, crooked conservative nutcase. So head on over to the #MoreThanFord site, or just tweet something you love about Toronto with the #MoreThanFord hashtag to swing things in favor of the campaign and restore Toronto’s damaged reputation. But if you are looking for some crack, I’m pretty sure Mayor Ford can hook you up. Credits after the jump. Read more