Mullen Gives Thanks for American Greetings

By Patrick Coffee 

It would appear that participants in a recent American Greetings survey read this blog: research by the card company found that “95 percent of Americans believe our country has a civility problem” and that 87 percent are “willing to do something about it.”

In order to combat this sense of animosity both online and off, the client called on AOR Mullen to follow up its recent viral “Toughest Job” work by creating #ThankList, a campaign built around encouraging followers to create “a bucket list of people you want to express gratitude towards for helping to shape your life.”

The resulting campaign is a series of short documentaries directed by Barbara Kopple, an Oscar winner perhaps best known for the classic pro-labor film Harlan County, USA and the Woody Allen jazz doc Wild Man Blues.


(Production company Nexus Interactive Arts and Factory Fifteen worked on the personalized elements of the site.)

Here’s the “trailer” for the campaign:

And here are three of those five journeys, starting with the story of Marine vet and cancer survivor “Ron”:

Chuan’s film is a bit lighter as she thanks her dance instructor:

In what may be the most emotional chapter in the series, Air Force pilot Cholene thanks her adopted son, who formerly lived in slavery:

Check out two more on the campaign’s home page.

The hashtag hasn’t quite taken off on social yet, but the client already has a couple of celebrities on board: actress Elizabeth Banks promoted it on Jimmy Fallon last night and media oligarch Arianna Huffington moderated a panel on the topic at The New Museum:

Will the project actually succeed in encouraging Americans be a little nicer to one another?

Let us know in the comments (just kidding).


CLIENT: American Greetings

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Nonfiction Unlimited
Director: Barbara Kopple
Executive Producer: Patrick Degan
Producer: Michael Manacop
DP: Jeff Stonehouse

DEVELOPMENT COMPANY: Nexus Interactive Arts// Factory Fifteen

Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker
Executive Creative Director: Tim Vaccarino
Executive Creative Director: Dave Weist
Creative Director: Jon Ruby
Associate Creative Director/Copy: Andrea Mileskiewicz
Associate Creative Director/Art: Blake Winfree
Associate Creative Director/ Art Director: Scott Slagsvol
Exec Director of Integrated Production: Liza Near
Director of Broadcast Production: Zeke Bowman
Senior Digital Producer: Alanna Whelan
Producer: Vera Everson
Group Account Director: Rebekah Pagis
Account Director: Jessica Zdenek
Account Supervisor: Laila Lynch
Assistant Account Executive Clark Chamberlin
Director of Interactive: Mathew Ray
Senior Creative Technologist Costa Boudouvas
Senior Experience Designer Charlene McBride
Strategic Planning Director Ellie Gogan-Tilstone
Senior Brand Strategist Ryan Houts
VP Account Director, Public Relations Jaclyn Ruelle
Senior Account Executive, Public Relations Caroline Trainor
Senior Account Executive, Public Relations Lauren Brennan
Assistant Account Executive, Public Relations Emily Schmitt

Editors: Sloane Klevin, Marco Perez
Assistant Editor: Adriana Machado
Sr. Producer: Susan Motamed
Executive Producer: Caryn Maclean

Colorist: Sofie Borup
VFX: Brickyard
VFX Artist: Sean McLean
VFX Artist: Andy Diefenbach
Executive Producer: Kirsten Andersen
Producer: Amy Appleton
AUDIO POST: Audio Engine
Sound Design/Mixer: Tom Goldblatt
MUSIC: Fall On Your Sword
Name of Track: Music by Fall on Your Sword: Keer, Chuan, Lexi and Waliek

MUSIC: Asche & Spencer
Name of Track: Music by Asche & Spencer: Ron
Specific Track Names: A&S Music Collection, Ambient, Track 143
A&S Music Collection, Ambient, Track 146c
MUSIC: Human
Name of Track: Original Music by Human: Teaser

MUSIC: Human New York, NY
Name of Track: Original Music by Human