Normally, I don’t go for hidden camera stuff (in advertising or entertainment) but this provocative campaign for a difficult subject is an exception. What I admire is the light touch it took with such a heavy subject. For example, the main actor is youthful, handsome and charming. In ordinary circumstances any father would be delighted to have his daughter date a fellow like this. Not casting an older, salacious man invites us into the concept. When the girls run up and hug him our first reaction is hardly uncomfortable. It seems normal… until we grasp what’s going on.

The real people are real too. This is not a dumb observation. In my opinion 90% of so-called “real” persons seen on videos today come off as vulgar, coached-up buffoons. It’s all about BIG reactions. But here the unaware parents are more perplexed than SHOCKED!!! These are genuine reactions. The subtle shift into full awareness make the commercial utterly believable and, in a way, transfixing. The light tone is counter-intuitive and utterly effective.  Bravo.

Read more in Adweek.

Client: BØRNEfonden (Child & Youth Foundation.)

Agency: Robert/Boisen & Like Minded


More than any one commercial or piece of marketing communications (of which there are many), what I really dig about AT&T’s campaign to eliminate texting while driving (and during movies) is the single-minded beauty and simplicity of it’s theme and tag line: “It Can Wait.”

Beyond the obvious ‘safety first’ messaging is the great insight that most texts are of a highly superficial nature. We all know as much. Yet, we do it anyway.

“It Can Wait,” reminds each one of us that “Where U at?” or “Sup?” is hardly important enough to distract moviegoers let alone put lives in jeopardy.

“It Can Wait” strikes exactly the right tone between admonishment and reminder. The line is like something an angry parent would say to a teen-aged kid. Yet, somehow it doesn’t come off as bitchy. Perhaps because we see ourselves as both parent and child.

Courting disaster…

Moreover, most of us know we are culpable. Inappropriate texting erupted onto the scene like a field of dandelions. It’s a real problem. Getting people to change this behavior has proven difficult to say the least. The insight that our instant messages are seldom that important and more about instant gratification than legitimate communication is, in my view, brilliant. It correctly puts us in our place, supplanting our egos with a self-consciousness that is sorely lacking.

Finally, I am not bothered in the least that this campaign comes from AT&T (if indeed it does). Whereas I always bristle when beer advertisers remind us not to drink and drive somehow this message doesn’t seem tacked on or disingenuous. It’s painfully obvious the law made beer companies talk about designated drivers. Waiting until one gets to his or her destination (or at least pulling over) in order to engage with our smartphones makes good sense. It can wait. And we all know it.