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CHIPPING AWAY

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To convey the recent success of organ and tissue donations in Colorado, TDA Advertising & Design turned to a subject rarely (if ever) seen in commercials: gerbil gravestones.

The Boulder, Colo., shop recently launched a new TV spot for the Donor Awareness Council in Denver that cites the donations' success, while noting there's still work to be done.

The spot shows a crafts man carving gravestones in his workshop. "Business has slowed down some," he says in a voice over. "I've begun to adjust my craft accordingly."

Then we see that the gravestones carry names such as "Pee Wee Peppler" and "Mr. Squeaks." "Carving gerbil gravestones has been a real test of my skills," he adds.

"Last year, there were 242 fewer funerals in Colorado, thanks to organ donors," says another voiceover. "But there's still over 1,200 people waiting for organ transplants. Be an organ and tissue donor."

The tag: "Say 'yes.' "

The ad targets potential donors ages 14-24. "We were really hoping that we could catch kids off guard [and get them to] take something away from it," said Jonathan Schoenberg, TDA creative director.

The work is running on spot network and cable in Colorado and Wyoming.