Guest Review: SIRE – ‘Marked for Life’

By Kiran Aditham 

Arnold’s Roger Baldacci is back with his bi-weekly critiques of campaigns. This time, his focus shifts from a celeb-heavy PSA on child slavery to one on how children can be deeply affected by a bad divorce. Your move, Roger.

Every now and then you see an idea and that causes you to pause and say to yourself, “Self: I wish I had done that. Perhaps I should start reciting those daily affirmations again. Or meditate or something.”

For me, this happens about every other week. And this week, my mild despondency comes courtesy of 180 Amsterdam with a simple and powerful spot about the lasting effect that your ugly, bitter divorce has on your children. I like this for three reasons: 1. It’s not a viral stunt video. 2. It takes a more thoughtful approach and doesn’t use the “Old Spice Type” (patent pending) humor like the last hilarious PSA I reviewed about the child sex trade. Nope, this is a solid, old-school idea devoid of any fads in style, execution or gratuitous social media component. Who knows, maybe they built an app that allows you to upload your children’s photos, add nasty tattoos on them and share with all your friends encouraging them to “join the conversation on Facebook!” 3. It’s a smart idea rooted in a genuine truism.

SIRE, the Dutch organization behind this, bills itself as a group of advertising and marketing leaders who donate their time to create work that raises awareness of social issues. I translated SIRE on Google Chrome. Turns out, loosely translated, SIRE means “scam organization formed so ad guys can do scam ads to win awards in all the big shows like Cannes and D&AD, not those crappy Cresta or Mobius awards.” Dutch is a very elegant yet complex language. Here’s a challenge to all creatives: instead of ‘raising awareness” of a deserving organization, try putting your talent and time into actually volunteering at said organization. To encourage participation, we could create the Green Lion—it would be a green Cannes Lion with a little thorn in its paw.