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PSA

Havas Worldwide Introduces ‘The Breath Holder’ in Clever PSA

Havas Worldwide, Helsinki has launched a new PSA entitled “The Breath Holder.”

In it, we see a young kid practicing holding his breath. Each time, he seems to make it a bit longer, and keeps track of his times. At first it may seem like he’s doing this out of boredom, or perhaps to make a go at the record, but his real reason is revealed at the conclusion of the spot. We won’t give anything away, but you can check out the clever 60-second spot for yourself above. Read more

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4Creative Destroys Cancer Cells for Stand Up To Cancer

To promote the October 17th Channel 4 and Cancer Research fundraiser Stand Up To Cancer 4Creative reimagined the typical disaster film with a twist: instead of human’s facing extinction, it’s cancer cells.

A project over a year in the making, 4Creative and production company Nexus create a world of cancer cell blobs inhabiting a modern city, created utilizing 2D paintings and 3D models. The overpopulated urban environment is disrupted by a mysterious blue orb and soon inhabitants are spontaneously combusting left and right. At the end of the spot, it the environment is finally revealed as a microscopic world which a scientist is testing new anti-cancer drugs on.

As directors Smith & Foulkes explained to Creative Review, personifying cancer posed some distinct challenges. “We wanted to steer away from the obvious route of showing cells as a bunch of grotesque alien germs, but we were also acutely aware of not making them too human or cute,” the pair said. “We also had to find a way to illustrate the new therapies, drugs and scientific breakthroughs that are fighting cancer. We wanted their arrival to be initially magical and mysterious, so we used a glowing blue orb, an unexplained light descending upon a shadowy world.”

The result is a highly unusual approach to raising cancer awareness. While the spot risks viewers sympathizing with the cancer cells (before they are revealed as such) it does make for a visually striking effort that stokes the imagination and entertains while raising awareness for a good cause. Read more

Deutsch NY, Ad Council Team Up for FEMA PSA

Deutsch, New Yorkteamed up with The Ad Council to create a PSA campaign for FEMA, in time for National Preparedness Month, reminding families to have a plan in the event of a disaster.

Since, according to FEMA, 50 percent of families have not discussed an emergency plan in the event of a disaster, the organization wanted to stress what a difference having a plan can make when such an event occurs. So the broadcast and digital PSA at the center of the campaign (released in both 30-second and 60-second formats) attempts to illustrate this through a harsh depiction of two families dealing with a disaster. One of the families, who presumably designated the shelter as a meeting place, huddle together, visibly shaken up but glad to have each other. They overhear another couple, who stress out over their missing child, powerless to do anything to locate him. It’s tough to watch, but that’s intentional, as it drives home the point that you don’t want to be the second family should anything go wrong. The spot ends by directing viewers to Ready.gov and www.Listo.gov where they can find resources for developing their own emergency plan. The campaign also includes radio and print components. Read more

72andSunny Shames Celebrity Smokers for truth

Have you ever noticed that a disproportionate number of celebrities happen to smoke in their spare time? That fact provides the motivation behind this new spot for truth (itself an offshoot of the national public health organization Legacy), created by 72andSunny in order to cast these “unpaid” Big Tobacco spokespeople as the very opposite of what we might call “role models.”

Many of the famous faces in the ad didn’t see it because they were too busy attending the Video Music Awards on which it aired (and, presumably, smoking).

That’s not to say that the people at truth don’t love Chris Brown as much as the prototypical “next guy” who does not happen to be Suge Knight.

Another spot created to explain the first below.

Read more

Ad Council, United Way Launch Glee-ful PSA Campaign

The Ad Council and United Way have launched a new Ryan Murphy-esque spot on community engagement aimed at showcasing the organization’s successes in boosting high school graduation rates (for glee club members and non-members alike).

It’s part of the larger LIVE UNITED campaign, but it’s not related to the NFL Play 60 partnership aimed at encouraging kids to live healthier lifestyles.

Get ready for some classic rock karaoke:

It’s energetic, though the timing is a bit off (and we wonder how Alice Cooper would feel).

More materials at the link – but no Jane Lynch.

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Lowe Roche Goes Fearless for Canadian Cancer Society

Lowe Roche has launched a new interactive campaign for the Canadian Cancer Society called “The Fearless Challenge,” which attempts to raise money online by asking people (such as the actors involved with the campaign) to face their worst fears for a certain price to be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. If the goal is met, individuals honor their pledge by facing their fear head-on.

“The Canadian Cancer Society is committed to creating a world where no Canadian fears cancer, but we are not there yet,” explains Mike Kirkpatrick, director, marketing for the Cancer Society in Ontario. “We know that more work needs to be done because a cancer diagnosis is still one of the scariest things a person can face.”

The campaign attempts to help raise funds to help those with cancer, based on the insight that a cancer diagnosis, despite progress with managing the disease, is still a very fearful proposition. So in addition to helping to raise funds, the campaign also attempts to help tackle that fear in cancer patients by showing people conquering their own greatest fears. Celebrity endorsers and participants in the campaign include actor Jason Priestley, sports commentator Jesse Palmer, Shannon and  Sophie Tweed-Simmons of Gene Simmons Family Jewels and Shannon & Sophie, and Hedley bassist and cancer survivor Tommy Mac. But the campaign isn’t just relying on celebrity endorsements, it invites viewers to participate by filming their own video and making a pledge at FearlessChallenge.com. Stick around for credits and actor Jonathan Keltz‘s pledge after the jump. Read more

72andSunny Goes Revolutionary in Anti-Smoking PSA

72andSunny earned coverage in The New York Times over the weekend for this spot, its first for new client Legacy (previously known as American Legacy foundation, or the group behind all those Truth anti-smoking ads).

Arnold and CP+B respectively handled the campaigns before 72andSunny won the pitch in February; this new spot serves as both a continuation of earlier entries’ sharp tone and an attempt to position the anti-smoking “movement” as one comparable to Occupy (check out the Guy Fawkes-style masks at :40).

After noting the success of associated anti-tobacco campaigns, the spot tells viewers that the fight isn’t over yet when a significant minority of high schoolers still smoke.

The larger effort includes attempts to turn the movement into something like the Human Rights Campaign’s successful 2013 effort to convince all of your friends to replace their Facebook photos with red equals signs.

Will the new campaign convince young people to place Xs over their faces on social or for corporations to donate more money to the group? We can’t be sure.

Side note: former Publicis Kaplan Thaler CEO Robin Koval currently serves as Legacy’s chief; despite the significant drop in tobacco sales in the U.S., she calls the campaign a case of “David going up against Goliath.”

Also worth noting that the spot does not contain a mention of e-cigarettes, which someone tells us are hot with the kids these days.

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Leo Burnett London Warns World Cup Fans Not to Drive Drunk

The World Cup has been over for nearly twenty-four hours, but, knowing a tiny bit about sports, we’d guess that many in Germany, Brazil and Argentina are still celebrating/consoling themselves with the appropriate spirits.

On that note, the creative team at Leo Burnett London wants to remind footie fans around the world that driving under the influence is never an appropriate response–no matter whose team won or what the final score happened to be.

While the spot for road safety charity client Brake is, of course, very of-the-minute, its message is timeless: most cases of drunk driving have absolutely nothing to do with any given sporting event.

Also: fans will never forget that spray foam.

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McCann NY Takes Unique Approach to Gun Safety PSA

You might not associate a sex toy battle with gun safety, but McCann New York ties the two together in a new 30-second video entitled “Playthings” that (finally) takes a different approach to the familiar gun safety PSA, created for gun responsibility organization Evolve.

In the spot, a woman goes to pick up her son at a friend’s house and finds him locked in heated sex toy battle with his friend. The friend’s mother, of course, looks horrified, and just when you thought things couldn’t get any more awkward one of the kids turns on the vibration feature. Around this time the voiceover intones the message, “If they find it, they’ll play with it. So always lock up your guns.”

The humorous approach is a welcome departure from the typical gun safety PSAs — which we see a lot of. “Playthings” is a lot more memorable than those efforts, and a lot harder to ignore, which makes it more likely to effectively communicate its message and even reach people who might just tune out the more serious, stern warnings of other gun safety PSAs. Of course, some of those people will just find the suggestive humor packed on “liberal propaganda” that much more offensive. But then McCann and Evolve didn’t really have any hope of reaching them anyway. While this isn’t the first time Evolve has employed humor in its PSAs — Saatchi & Saatchi New York’s February effort “The Bill of Rights for Dumbasses” took a similarly lighthearted approach — it is definitely the most effective. “Playthings” has already generated a fair share of buzz, approaching one million views since being released Wednesday and eliciting mentions in myriad media outlets. Credits after the jump. Read more

Northern Ireland Safe Driving PSA Stirs Controversy

A safe-driving PSA for Northern Ireland’s Department of the Environment by Belfast agency LyleBailie International has created an international stir with its disturbing imagery. The 60-second PSA, which only airs after 9 P.M., has been criticized for going too far to make its point, “and some news outlets have posted ‘trigger warnings’ about the strong content,” Adweek reports.

The PSA, entitled “Classroom” begins with a classroom of children preparing for a field trip and exploring a serene natural environment, with an ominous cover of “Sweet Child of Mine” hinting at the violence to come. At around the 30-second mark we see footage of a driver carelessly speeding along a country road, and around 10 seconds later the segments converge as the driver loses control of his vehicle, and launches off the road, killing the group of children. Although the scene is not particularly graphic, it has been met with varying criticism as being over-the-top, unrealistic, and even traumatizing. “Since 2000, speeding has killed a classroom of our children,” says the voiceover at the PSA’s conclusion. “You can never control the consequences if you speed.”

Whatever you think about the spot’s approach, it is gaining international attention for the issue of speeding, with over 1.5 million views on YouTube since being uploaded a week ago and plenty of media coverage. Read more

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