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PSA

PSAs Focused on Ferguson Air During MTV Video Music Awards

MTV‘s Look Different campaign aired PSAs last night during the VMAs, clips that MTV president Stephen Friedman says could open the door for conversation about racism and the protests in Ferguson, MO.

“Eighty percent of our audience believes that bias is at the root of racism and prejudice… Ironically, part of the problem is that this generation was taught to be color-blind,” he told The Washington Post. “As a result, they feel like they’re going to step on a land mine if they say the wrong thing. In fact, our research has shown that fully 70 percent of our white audience grew up not talking about race in their households. They’re striving for fairness and equality and often just aren’t sure how to to proceed.”

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Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsLearn how to use stories to inspire, connect, and persuade your clients! In this workshop starting September 3, you'll learn how to uncover stories in everyday life, incorporate stories into your media work, use storytelling techniques with clients, all to improve your pitch and presentation skills. Register now!

The ALS ‘Ice Bucket’ Challenge: When Schtick Becomes a #PRWin for Charity

Lou Gehrig Speech

It is called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and before the New York Yankees of the 1930s, no one really knew about this tragic disease that attacks the neurons in your brain that connect to the spinal cord. Even the top ALS advocacy group will tell you that:

ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease.

When the ‘Iron Horse’ got afflicted with the disease, ended his historic career in baseball, and gave what is easily one of the top three speeches of all time, ALS got a much-needed nickname — “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

The foundation got its own sort of kickstarter campaign as well. Awareness went up. Involvement went up. And donations went up. And now, decades later, we have people dunking themselves in ice water. To wit, I say, “Whatever works.”

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AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’: Even Admirable Campaigns Can’t Wait to Succeed

att-it-can-wait

Back in my fare burg of Dallas lives the telecom behemoth known as AT&T. One of its largest undertakings was the PSA campaign for It Can Wait. The clarion call for no texting and driving was a necessary one — and one AT&T put few limits on spreading.

It started in September 2009, and five years later, it is still being heralded as one of the country’s best campaigns. Only one problem: No one that should care does.

Awards. Awareness. Accolades. They don’t really matter without any action.

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Malala Yousafzai, Media Partners Push #StrongerThan Campaign

You may be aware that today is Malala Yousafzai Day; the tale of a bold young woman attacked by the Taliban for daring to educate herself is as relevant now as it was when it she was attacked in 2012.

Today saw the launch of a new PSA/social media campaign created by production house Bodega and promoted by Edelman. Here’s the video component, which first appeared on YouTube several days ago:

While the larger goal of Malala’s outreach efforts since her shooting has been to raise money and awareness for universal education for young women in the developing world, today she used her own celebrity and those of others to call for the return of the young women recently kidnapped in Nigeria.

How successful can a campaign like this one be?

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This PSA Featuring Dildo Humor May Actually Make You a More Responsible Gun Owner


Watch the video first (we don’t want to spoil this one for you!)

Well, we admit it: we couldn’t imagine where this PSA was headed (but were giggling with sympathetic mortification on behalf of the mothers featured in the video). It opens with two mothers chatting on a front porch after their sons’ play date, when the boys suddenly tumble into the front yard while having an epic sword fight. Their weapons of choice?

Dildos.

We watch as the mothers’ faces drop into mortified masks of horror and speechless embarrassment, and then the PSA gets to its actually-vital point with the clever tagline: “If they find it, they’ll play with it. Always lock up your guns.”

We can’t help but feel this is pure PSA brilliance; in America, we tend to be shocked by (and want to shield our kids from) sex more than violence — a movie with tons of gun violence? Rated PG13. A movie with tons of sex? Rated R. So what better way to grab the viewers’ attention? What begins as a humorously shocking spot takes a serious turn thanks to the tagline, when the double meaning of a child playing with something they do not understand and should not be able to get ahold of, truly hits home. Often, our sex toys are probably better hidden from our children than our weapons. Now that is mortifying.

A New PSA Explains Why You Shouldn’t Pee In The Pool

swimmingIt’s summer and that means spending time at the pool. As much fun as this is, there’s always the niggling feeling you have — perhaps in the back of your mind, maybe in the pit of your stomach — that jumping in for a dip is tantamount to swimming in urine. Especially when there’s a bunch of kids involved. Because you know the kiddies aren’t getting out of the pool for a bathroom break when they can just cut loose in the pool and keep on playing. Oh goodness, the whole thing is making me nauseous.

Well actually, besides that nausea, high concentrations of urine in a pool can actually cause respiratory problems and irritation to the skin and eyes. This is the message that The American Chemical Society wants to share with everyone this season. And if you can pass it along using a little science, that might help. The PSA, available after the jump, will help you make your case.

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Brilliant Volkswagen PSA Proves to Theater Full of People Why Texting and Driving Kills

Think you’re the exception to the rule and you can just check one text really quickly while driving and not miss a beat or put lives at risk? A few people in this Hong Kong movie theater probably thought so, too — that is, until this happened:

Mobile use is now the leading cause of death behind the wheel, and while most of us “know” that, it seems to be a difficult message to hammer home in PSAs. We’ve seen many heart-wrenching spots featuring loved ones of those killed in texting-related accidents, but no matter how true or deeply moving those ads are, they are still happening to other people.

Apparently recognizing this challenge, Volkswagen, in partnership with Ogilvy Beijing, came up with a way to make their PSA happen to the audience, rather than just play out in front of them. The (above) result is shocking, powerful and completely unforgettable. We imagine every person in that theater will think twice before checking a text while driving.

Anti-Redskins Spot to Air on NBA Finals Tonight

It’s tough out there for Daniel Snyder: no matter how many political strategists you hire to convince the public to get over your team’s name and mascot, history keeps coming back to bite you in the ass.

And the controversy won’t die down anytime soon. Tonight, during the Heat/Spurs NBA finals game, this spot will run in seven cities:

The most interesting part of this story: the above ad isn’t new. It first hit YouTube almost six months ago, described as “the #BigGame commercial the NFL would never air.”

But a 60-second version of it will run during the game thanks to a “significant” ESPN/ABC ad buy by The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation of California. It’s all about raising awareness of the ChangeTheMascot.org campaign, and it’s already gone super-viral on Reddit, etc.

We’re thankfully not advising Mr. Snyder at the moment, but if we were we’d say that he needs to do something substantial to help his “Washington Professional Football Team” recover the fumble–and soon.

Florida Man Paints House Like the U.S. Flag Because HOAs Suck and ‘Merica

flag house

Meet Brent Greer, fellow American.

That’s him standing in front of a house that looks like Betsy Ross picked out the color scheme at Home Depot. Decked in his patriotic camo pants and bald eagle haircut, Greer’s house is national news. He was visited by Bradenton, Fla. city code enforcement because his local HOA complained about the way his house looked, so instead of arguing, Greer had an idea.

He took his wife, seven adopted kids, and painted his house to look like this. His reason? “This is America.”

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PSA Turns Passed-Out Drunks into Human Billboards

If you thought the ritual of writing shaming, embarrassing things on passed-out drunk people was relegated to college parties, you’d be mistaken. Now two major ad agencies in Japan are doing virtually the same thing, but for a good cause.

In partnership with Yaocho, one of the biggest bar chains in Tokyo, Ogilvy & Mather and Geometry Global have created a campaign aimed at discouraging Japanese citizens from getting so blitzed that they pass out and sleep in the streets. And what better way to dissuade such behavior than creating a shaming, public spectacle out of those who fail to excercise better judgement?

Such unfortunate, inhibriated individuals are marked with the hashtag #NOMISUGI, which translates to “too drunk,” and surrounded by a square of white tape. All over Japan, passersby have been Instagram-ing images of these human billboards, creating a viral PSA of sorts. While we agree with AdWeek that it’s difficult to tell whether these individuals truly draped themselves so horrendously on subway staircases and on sidewalks or whether the scenes have been staged, the campaign still sends a clear message: Behave, or risk becoming our next literal poster child for poor decision making.

Just some food for thought to get your weekend off to a somewhat-honorable start…

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