Holland Mark Touts Creativity

Promoting creativity would be considered a dream job by most agencies, and the Boston Foundation Arts Fund awarded just such an assignment, on a pro bono basis, to Holland Mark Advertising.

The agency has crafted a multimedia push urging people to “Be creative” in situations they face every day.

Several 30-second spots now breaking showcase creative problem solving in such settings as a corporate boardroom, a supermarket checkout aisle and at a gas station.

“This ad campaign, urging people to be creative and to participate in the arts, delivers the message in a … fresh and provocative way. We truly believe this campaign will grab people,” said Anna Faith Jones, president and CEO of the Boston Foundation, which makes grants of more than $50 million annually to nonprofit organizations. The Arts Fund gave out $1.4 million in grants last year, supporting various programs and community arts initiatives.

“The agency was looking for a way to support creativity in general in the community for our own PR reasons,” added Holland Mark chairman Bink Garrison, whose connections in the local business community helped bring the assignment to the Boston agency.

In one commercial, a pair of junior executives present a year-end report to their superiors sans white boards and computer graphics. They break out the tom-toms and employ Beat poetry to describe the firm’s economic situation. A spot set in a grocery store features a shopper who sings an angry aria of protest after her tomatoes are scanned for a higher price than advertised.

Designed as an image effort rather than a plea for donations, ads include the Foundation’s Web address, tbf.org/artsfunds. Holland Mark art-copy team Tom Hurd and Rick McHugh oversaw the campaign. Jonathan Bekemeier directed the TV spots, and Russ Quackenbush handled print ad photography.

Spots will run on most Boston-area TV stations, while the print component will be posted along the city’s subway and commuter rail lines.