Seen but Not Heard

Earle Palmer Brown’s first television campaign for Children’s National Medical Center will begin airing in early July.

The Bethesda, Md., agency’s two spots, tagged “Specialists for life,” feature kids behaving in ways that would normally lead to a spanking. For ex-ample, one child squirts chocolate syrup on a living- room sofa.

“Kids make messes,” said EPB executive creative director Woody Kay. “But in the context of leukemia, something like a dirty carpet just doesn’t seem that bad.”

The commercials for the Washington, D.C., hospital, directed by Neil Tardio, Jr. from A Band Apart in New York, target suburban moms in and around the District. The ads will air on network morning shows including Today, Good Morning America and The Morning Show, Fox news programs, and prime-time fare such as The West Wing and Will & Grace.

According to Kay, it was the early-morning media plan that helped drive the creative. Wanting to catch moms on their way out the door, but competing with breakfast hubbub, the agency created nearly silent spots.

In “Bathroom,” a toddler pulls yard after yard of toilet paper from its roll. That and the sound of a shower give the commercial a tranquil feel.

The vignette closes on a super: “It’s okay. Because life after a brain tumor can be beautiful.”

The relative silence, said Kay, works on two levels. “Creatively, [the spots] make good theater,” he said. “At the same time—in the morning—these are moments of silence that should rivet busy moms.”