london urges against hollywood showers…

If you thought Americans were the only ones enjoying the heat the dark heart of summer brings, it’s also been particularly warm across the Atlantic in London. So, the London charity Water Aid created this Spotify playlist – “Four Minute Shower Hits” to help the water companies urge Londoners to conserve water during this time. It’s not just a clever name, and all songs are four minutes or slightly less, to help people do their part during the heat wave.

Why it’s hot: 

To accomplish their goal, the UK water companies could have created a much more straightforward and forgettable PSA type ad. Instead, they made something useful, functional, and fun.


Meet Graham: A PSA for Driving Safety

Graham, the human redesigned to survive car crashes, wins best of show at some NY festivals.  Project Graham was launched as a PSA to show how vulnerable the human body is in even low impact car crashes.  Graham was created as the only human designed to withstand the impact of a car crash, with an extra fat head (as head trauma is significant) and other bodily adjustments to help absorb shock.  Crash test engineers and trauma doctors were brought in to direct what parts of the body were most affected, and an artist sculpted Graham based on their feedback.

Why It’s Hot

I thought it was an interesting take on a PSA, however the campaign seemed incomplete to me…there could have been more done to bring the full message to light.  Sure, it showed what the human body would ideally evolve to, but what is the end goal here?  They never connected the dots- do they want people to drive safer?  Are there new safety features that are being instated in cars?  Graham is attention grabbing but they could have built so much more on top of him to add more impact.

The Five Year Pregnancy

The film was created for the National Partnership for Women & Families, and it touches on a number of sore points: Neither Lauren nor her husband have paid family leave, so Lauren stockpiles vacation and sick days so she can give birth when her baby turns 6. (Ouch.)

 The spot also points out that nearly every country—certainly every developed country—has paid family leave, with the glaring exception of the United States.

“Lauren is every person in our country who has struggled with having to balance work and the inevitabilities of life without the support of a national paid leave policy,” creative director Jessica Coulter tells AdFreak. She adds that the stakes extend to more than pregnant women and their families. It also includes couples who adopt, and people who are caring for infirm loved ones, or who are sick themselves.

Wry smiles aside, the team hopes “A Long Five Years” will trigger action from lawmakers and the public by confronting them with “the absurd reality too many working people and families face,” says Shabo, who represents the organization.

“Millions of people like Lauren are being forced to choose between their health, families and jobs every day. The consequences for families, businesses and our economy are real. Lawmakers who claim to value families need to take a hard look at our nation’s truly absurd paid leave crisis, and commit to advancing a comprehensive solution.”

Citizens especially have a vested interest in saying something. “We shouldn’t accept an America where nearly one-quarter of new moms are back at work within two weeks of giving birth, or where an adult child who leaves the workforce to care for a parent forgoes an estimated $300,000 in income and retirement savings,” Shabo says.

Unsurprisingly, it’s a widely-supported idea. Some “82 percent of 2016 voters—including 95 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of independents and 70 percent of Republicans—say it is important for the President and Congress to consider a national paid family and medical leave law,” Shabo says. “People must keep up the drumbeat for change.”

The ad concludes by telling us that 86 percent of Americans have jobs that don’t provide family leave, and that we can change this—assuming the current administration is compelled to listen.

“The fact that the U.S. is practically the only country in the world that does not have a national paid leave policy is nearly laughable, if it wasn’t incredibly distressing,” says Terry. “Using a hyperbolic scenario—a woman who has spent the last five years basically doing one giant kegel to keep a first-grader in her uterus because she can’t afford to have her baby—made sense to get our point across. And if a 260-week pregnant woman doesn’t move people to act, we don’t know what will.”

Why It’s Hot

Especially pertinent to me now as a pregnant woman, I thought this was an interesting statement to make to potentially influence people and evoke a little more thought about some policies that the government handles.  I have to note- we are some of the lucky ones- with our company recognizing the importance and covering our costs while we’re out.






meowThe question: Can smoking kill cat videos? And if no one wants to live in a world without cat videos, we must stop smoking … according to the Truth Initiative’s commercial that aired during the Grammy’s.

Despite this somewhat faulty logic,  people have took to social media to express their reaction to the potential end of cat videos using the #catmageddon.

Why It’s Hot

This is certainly a departure from typical public health campaigns that usually focus on the effects an activity has on a person’s health, not their pets. While pet ownership in the U.S. is high as well as viewership on cat videos online, was this departure a solid strategy? Depends on how you look at it. Although this caught the attention of many, does it really encourage smokers to quit? Or would the behavior out of this more likely be to just smoke outside, where your animals aren’t? Either way, it is an interesting approach that has the social media sphere chattering.

Read more: here and here.

Follow the Leader

“Global warming is an obvious and imminent threat that’s already wreaking havoc in some communities. But this ad, from the environmental group Defend Our Future, doesn’t really tap into the audience’s lizard brain and strike fight-or-flight nerves the same way an approaching inferno would. In other words, however clever the approach, it seems more suited to observational musing than lighting a fire under those content to keep living life as if the human race weren’t engineering a far less habitable planet, largely by inertia and indifference. It’s certainly notable enough to spark conversation, and hopefully some action. The organization is challenging would-be-participants to commit to using reusable water bottles (perhaps a Bobble, if you’d like some snark with your purchase), start a bike share or write a letter to a governor. Though any one of those things might be asking too much of someone who’d rather breathe through a shirt than leave a room thick with fumes.” – Gabriel Beltrone

Read More:

Why It’s Hot

From a social perspective, we see that people are more inclined to do something/follow a trend when they see others participating. Examples: Selfies, Ice Bucket Challenge, etc. This video is a prime example of  the classic social psychology experiment on bystander apathy.

Country Roads: Helpful Hazards

Read About It:

Why It’s Hot

Typically when you think of advertisements, you don’t think of cattle. Knowing that people are served thousands of messages a day, whether it be by mobile, TV, or the standard billboard sign… people often miss the crux of all ads because the space is flooded with messages. Therefore, I think this was a very clever idea because its all about thinking outside of the box in order to grasp someones attention. The placement couldn’t be any more perfect considering that people can’t help but to sight see and look at animals in the countryside.

Clever PSA has Beach Sun-Worshipers Taking to Shade for Free WiFi

The Peruvian League Against Cancer has built a special tower on the Playa Agua Dulce, which offers wireless internet connectivity—but only to people standing in the tower’s shadow.

On top of the structure, a directional antenna attached to a sensor limits the scope of the signal and rotates with the sun. The login page for the network, which supports some 250 users at a time, includes prevention information about skin cancer.

When users log on to the network, they also provide the cancer association valuable analytics on how much time they’re spending in the shade. Skin cancer from UV light exposure affects more than three million people each year. Although sunscreen provides some protection, seeking shadow is an often overlooked and easy solution to reducing skin cancer risks.

Cancer foundations around the world are excited by the potential of this system. Shadow Wi-Fi’s developer, Happiness, has released access to the software for non-profit use. Cancer foundations around the world can set up the system, without ICT knowledge.



According to Adolfo Dammert Ludowieg, president of Liga Contra el Cáncer, “[Shadow Wi-Fi] has changed sun-worshipers’ behavior and educated them about the value of becoming shadow-worshipers at the most harmful hours of the day, between 12 and 4pm.”

Agency Happiness Brussels helped set up the rig and is planning similar installations in partnership with local organizations in San Francisco and New Zealand.

Why It’s HOT: This clever tower with great utility offers a service in high-demand and in exchange raises awareness while encouraging behavioral changes to minimize skin cancer risk.

Sources: This Giant Shady Tower Tricks Beachgoers Into Avoiding the Sun by Offering Free WiFi | Adweek and Wi-Fi That Only Works in Shade Intends to Prevent Skin Cancer

That Same Day Puppy Drone Delivery Service Is Really A Humane Society PSA

There’s no doubt that two of the coolest things to come out of the 21st century so far are Amazon same-day delivery and drones (and obviously the coming combination of the two). And people love puppies. So just imagine the excitement when the possibility of same-day puppy delivery by drone appeared. Last week, Same Day Pups launched what appeared to be an ambitious plan to become the “Uber” of puppies. Now the Humane Society of the United States has revealed the organization was behind the ad to raise awareness about puppy mills and drive people to adopt instead of purchasing pets online. The video of drone-delivered puppies drives to a site with photos of adorable pups for sale. Clicks revealed the reality behind buying a “purebred” dog from an unknown breeder or store.

Why It’s Hot

OK, we know there is no such thing as puppy drone delivery. The video sparks your interest and you click on the site, The headline reads: “A puppy is not a product.” The site is part of the Stop Puppy Mills campaign from the Humane Society. This organization is stressing that you need to be aware of professional-looking websites that hosts pictures of adorable dogs. Don’t be duped by these sites, which may have questionable operations. Take the puppy pledge online and promise to visit a breeder or consider adopting from a shelter or rescue. The video is endearing and then clicking on the site is like bam, what just happened, this is a serious message and the sweetness of the video fades away.

Clever Cancer PSA Stunt

Cancer Research U.K. promoted a PSA to highlight the dangers of being oblivious. I believe that there is a great message behind this because often times in ads, people don’t understand the underlying message behind them. This PSA demonstrates that people are simply missing the signs.

Why Its Hot

Sometimes people ignore the message or the purpose of what an ad is promoting. This PSA was a clever way to expose the ways that people tend to ignore the things that are right in front of them.

Save the Bros

Organic Valley recently displayed a new video in hopes of its viral potential. Nowadays, it is very common to see organic-related products advertised in straightforward product-centric messages. Especially in commercials like the ones that Whole Foods Market and Wegmans have produced containing a country-side landscape, farmers, happy cows, etc.

It’s is interesting to see Organic Valley take a different approach to attract a greater audience.

Why It’s Hot

Lately, we have been seeing brands tap into PSAs for the satirical aspect. For instance, T-Mobile just launched “Data Stash” with a similar type of campaign. Sarcastic PSAs might just be the latest trend in viral content.

Anti-Bullying Film Gets Shorter Every Time You Share It

To make a point about bullying, Singapore’s Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth has launched a video that gets shorter every time you share it.

The black-and-white animated film shows a boy who is being bullied at school. “I don’t feel safe anywhere,” he states plaintively. “I feel all alone.”

The video, which originally runs at just under two minutes, is designed to be shared onFacebook. After you share it, the next person sees a version that runs one millisecond shorter, according to Creativity Online. That process continues each time the video is shared on Facebook.

Eventually, the film will whittle down to a single frame, which can also be shared. The idea is that by making others aware of bullying, you wipe it out. Hence the name of the campaign, “Share it to end it.” At the time of writing, the video had been shared just more than 4,700 times, according to campaign’s website.

Why it’s Hot

This is a great marriage of creativity and technology where technology and the specific advertising delivery mechanism reinforce the strategic intent and objective of the communication.



Three Years Later, We Finally Have a Brutally Powerful Ad About the Crisis in Syria

Save the Children, an international NGO that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries, recently released a video as part of a campaign in the UK to call attention to the horrors of war in Syria, as the conflict stretches into its third year.

“We hope the video will resonate with the public, particularly those who don’t know much about the situation in Syria, and offer a new perspective on the devastating impact this conflict is having on innocent Syrian children,” says Jack Lundie, director of brand and communications at Save the Children.

For more, visit Adweek.

Why It’s Hot

The spot encourages us to think differently about dire situations that are going on thousands of miles away from our daily lives. While the video was set in London and geared toward the UK audience, it could have easily been translated to a city in the United States.

Major kudos to the team for finding an impactful way to spread an important message and call attention to humanitarian efforts. This campaign made me think of a poignant PSA billboard that was created a little over a year ago that used lenticular printing to display a special message to children living in abusive situations.

Both campaigns spread their messages in very different, yet moving and emotional ways for their respective causes.