CCO Joe Alexander on why attention to detail & unashamed humour proved a winning combination for Donate Life.
Non-profit organisation Donate Life took a chance on The Martin Agency when it agreed to adopt their suggested unusual approach and embrace humour in its charity advert. Luckily, for the teams involved, this bravery paid off and the spot delivered – raising awareness for the charity and administering laughs along the way. shots caught up with the agency’s CCO Joe Alexander to find out what it took to put together the award-winning piece.
What was your initial reaction when you received the script and idea for The World’s Biggest Asshole?
We knew it was risky, but we also knew we had to take a risk to engage this very cynical audience.
Did you immediately know how you’d approach the film?
We had some initial thoughts; cinematic, an in-depth character study, etc. But Speck and Gordon from Furlined brought the storytelling to a whole new level. The casting of Thomas Jane. The locations. The pace. The extra little details just made it special from frame one.
Had you ever worked on a similar project before?
We often do pro-bono projects at the agency. When we have a passionate cause and a client who believes that creativity can make a difference, that’s when we do our best work.
Why do you think it struck a chord with the shots jury, and other awards juries across the globe?
I think the juries are surprised to see a PSA for a very serious cause use humor to breakthrough. I think they appreciate the depth of the storytelling and the great cast… Maybe they also are awarding the courage by our client to do something so brave.
Why did you feel that comedy was the best approach?
Most often, PSAs tend to overtly pull on the heartstrings. We knew we couldn’t do that because this audience of millennial men is a pretty jaded bunch. When you aren’t afraid to die like these guys are, you aren’t going to fall for scare tactics.
What does winning gold at the shots Awards mean to you?
It’s always a honor to get the vote of a great jury and win against the best work in the world.
Client: Donate Life
Director: Speck and Gordon
Agency: The Martin Agency