Plan Now, Die Later

The challenge for the National Cremation Service is to get people to consider a sensitive subject: the disposition of their remains after they die.

“What’s your wish?” a new campaign conceived by Brains On Fire in Greenville, S.C., accomplishes that with tact and unexpected humor.

“One of the main issues is that survivors don’t know what to do,” said agency account executive Marion Mann. “Planning ahead answers that question.”

Three 30-second TV spots, which were test marketed successfully in Washington state for the Houston-based client, will air in Florida and Oregon later this year. Print and interactive ads play supporting roles.

In “Sunflowers,” a camera pans over a seemingly endless field of flowers while a voiceover, clearly that of a take-charge elderly woman, says: “Let me tell you what I don’t want … If you want to spend thousands on me, send it to me now! Otherwise, get the family together on a sunny afternoon … and sprinkle me among my sunflowers.”

“In the Hole” opens on a sailboat skimming along a coastline at sunset. The narrator, an-other crusty old-timer, takes a look back: “I’ve spent most of my life in the hole … credit cards, mortgages, dot-coms. So, when I die, the last thing I want is to be dropped in another hole. I want to be cremated. When I was here, my ship never came in, but that doesn’t mean I can’t go out on one.”

Campaign production credits go to creative director Greg Cordell, copywriter Scott Gould and art director Geno Church.