Ad of the Day: Red Cross

Give something that means something, not just more junk, says this animated holiday spot from BBDO

Never has there been a more auspicious time to take a stand against holiday shopping gone berserk. The economy is still in a shambles, and the Occupy movements have hyper-consumerism in their targets—with Adbusters, which coined the term Occupy Wall Street, orchestrating a whole Occupy Xmas initiative to go along with its traditional Buy Nothing Day on Black Friday. Really, the table is set for any advertiser that can benefit from a wholesale rethink of the gift-giving season.

Last week, we looked at the Unicef spot from Sweden that urged donations for kids in areas where Santa Claus doesn't bother to show up. And now, we have an animated spot from the Red Cross (via BBDO, New York) that likewise suggests taking some of the money that would otherwise go to more and more presents and funneling it into a more worthy cause—a donation to the Red Cross, which can buy assistance for a human being in need, not just more junk.

The animation by Elastic and director Andy Hall is gorgeously simple (it looks like stop motion but is actually CGI), and the spot tells the most straightforward of stories—dramatizing the buildup of "stuff" as stressful and unnecessary, and resolving with the clay everyman packaging hope, help and compassion into a red box and making a real difference to someone's life. Topping it off is a strong voiceover from Ted Danson.

A second spot is linked to New Year's resolutions—urging viewers to resolve to donate to the Red Cross cause in 2012. Naturally, there's also a social component, with the Red Cross Facebook page devoted to the 2011 Holiday Giving Catalog, where you can buy everything from hot meals to blankets to vaccinations to military comfort kits. On Twitter, the Red Cross is using the #perfectgift hashtag to spread the word. For every #perfectgift tweet made, Craigslist's Craig Newmark is donating $1 to the Red Cross, up to $10,000.


Client: Red Cross

Agency: BBDO, New York

CCO: David Lubars

Senior Creative Director: Linda Honan

ACD/Copywriter: Nick Sonderup

ACD/Art Director: Kim Haxton

Senior Producer: Jesse Brihn

Production Co.: Elastic

Director: Andy Hall

CG Lead: Kirk Shintani

Music: Search Party

Sound Design: POP Sound