The Most Uplifting Ad You’ll See Today Is About a 15-Year-Old’s Incredible Cancer Research

Intel tells Jack Andraka's story

Here's one from the warm-and-fuzzies school of advertising.

Jack Andraka, barely a teenager, decided to develop an early-detection test for pancreatic cancer after his uncle died from the disease. [UPDATE: AdFreak has learned that the man who died might not technically have been Andraka's uncle but rather a close friend. In any case, Andraka has consistently referred to the man as an uncle.] He asked 200 researchers and other experts for help. Only one, a doctor of oncology at Johns Hopkins, provided him with lab space to use after school. At age 15, Andraka succeeded in developing a test that is 168 times faster, 400 times more sensitive, and 26,000 times less expensive than the medical standard.

Intel tells Andraka's story in the ad below. What does a computer-chip manufacturer have to do with his invention? Not much, but Intel is the headlining sponsor—and has been since 1997—of the International Science and Engineering Fair, which gave Andraka its $75,000 grand prize for his work.

The spot, from Venables Bell & Partners (and director Britton Caillouette of Farm League, himself a bone-cancer survivor), is a little self-congratulatory on Intel's part. But it's clever, too. The ad, which proceeds in reverse chronology, might make you feel the same sort of skepticism about Andraka that his idea met—but then you'll feel like a fool when you realize how quite amazing his accomplishment is. Credits below.


Client: Intel

Spot: "Look Inside. Jack A."

Agency: Venables Bell & Partners

Executive Creative Directors: Paul Venables and Will McGinness

Creative Director: Tom Scharpf

Associate Creative Director: Eric Boyd

Art Director: Ezra Paulekas

Copywriter: Rob Calabro

Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen

Agency Producer: Emily Moore

Production Company: Farm League

Director: Britton Caillouette

Director of Photography: Devin Whetstone

Executive Producers: Tim Lynch/Tieneke Pavesic

Producer: David Burden

Editing Company: Farm League

Editor: Dana Shaw

Sound Design: One Union SF

Sound Designers: Joaby Deal

Music: Elias/Michael Fraumeni

Mix: Joaby Deal/One Union SF

VFX/End Treatment: Brand New School

VFX Producer: Amy Russo

The Fans. The Brands. Social Good. The Future of Sports. Don't miss the upcoming Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit and Upfronts, a live virtual experience on Nov. 16-19. Early-bird passes available until Oct. 26. Register now

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.