The Most Uplifting Ad You’ll See Today Is About a 15-Year-Old’s Incredible Cancer Research

Intel tells Jack Andraka's story

Here's one from the warm-and-fuzzies school of advertising.

Jack Andraka, barely a teenager, decided to develop an early-detection test for pancreatic cancer after his uncle died from the disease. [UPDATE: AdFreak has learned that the man who died might not technically have been Andraka's uncle but rather a close friend. In any case, Andraka has consistently referred to the man as an uncle.] He asked 200 researchers and other experts for help. Only one, a doctor of oncology at Johns Hopkins, provided him with lab space to use after school. At age 15, Andraka succeeded in developing a test that is 168 times faster, 400 times more sensitive, and 26,000 times less expensive than the medical standard.

Intel tells Andraka's story in the ad below. What does a computer-chip manufacturer have to do with his invention? Not much, but Intel is the headlining sponsor—and has been since 1997—of the International Science and Engineering Fair, which gave Andraka its $75,000 grand prize for his work.

The spot, from Venables Bell & Partners (and director Britton Caillouette of Farm League, himself a bone-cancer survivor), is a little self-congratulatory on Intel's part. But it's clever, too. The ad, which proceeds in reverse chronology, might make you feel the same sort of skepticism about Andraka that his idea met—but then you'll feel like a fool when you realize how quite amazing his accomplishment is. Credits below.

Client: Intel
Spot: "Look Inside. Jack A."
Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
Executive Creative Directors: Paul Venables and Will McGinness
Creative Director: Tom Scharpf
Associate Creative Director: Eric Boyd
Art Director: Ezra Paulekas
Copywriter: Rob Calabro
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Agency Producer: Emily Moore
Production Company: Farm League
Director: Britton Caillouette
Director of Photography: Devin Whetstone
Executive Producers: Tim Lynch/Tieneke Pavesic
Producer: David Burden
Editing Company: Farm League
Editor: Dana Shaw
Sound Design: One Union SF
Sound Designers: Joaby Deal
Music: Elias/Michael Fraumeni
Mix: Joaby Deal/One Union SF
VFX/End Treatment: Brand New School
VFX Producer: Amy Russo