What not to feed your kids if you're worried about lead poisoning

Posted on Wed Apr 21 2010

Eek, don't drink the milk! (OK, sorry. We overreacted.) But you can't blame us after watching this spot, created pro bono by Merkley + Partners for the Ad Council and its partners (i.e., The Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). The organizations this week launched an ad campaign to raise awareness of lead poisoning. One spot (yes, the one that had us all worked up) opens with what appears to yummy, delicious, refreshing cold milk pouring into a baby's bottle, as a soft, nursery/crib chime plays in the background. But the surprise comes when the camera zooms upward to reveal the real source. "Lead paint poisoning affects over 1 million children today," the voiceover says matter of factly. If your house was built before 1978, we urge you to get it checked out!

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Smokey Bear, 65, can still kick your irresponsible, oblivious ass

Posted on Wed Jul 1 2009

Smokey Bear turns 65 this year, and to celebrate the beloved forest-fire-prevention mascot reaching retirement age, the Ad Council, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters are running a slew of new PSAs on TV and online. Several spots by Draftfcb show a CGI Smokey teaching people better habits around forests. (They've posted some classic ads online, like this one with Smokey impersonating a sexy woman.) Since his introduction in 1944, Smokey has been credited with helping to reduce the number of acres burned annually by wildfires from 22 million to 7 million. Also, three out of four adults can instantly recall Smokey's favorite phrase, "Only you can prevent wildfires." Still, wildfires remain a problem, and this longtime trooper won't be retiring anytime soon.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Elmo happy to do his small part to keep the flu from spreading

Posted on Tue Jun 2 2009

Oh goodness. Elmo, that furry little red monster from Sesame Street, is now teaching us how to wash our hands. And to sneeze properly. Developed by Sesame Workshop, the commercials are a joint effort of the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal? To minimize the spread of H1N1, or swine flu, as it's more commonly called. And since repetition makes for good memory, Elmo preaches good hand-washing habits in one ad by saying, "Wash, wash, wash, wash, wash, wash," in his chirpy, sing-song tone. Let's hope none of the Sesame Street gang comes down with the swine flu.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Americans refuse to shut up, except when they visit the doctor

Posted on Thu Apr 16 2009

"We ask questions everywhere we go," but not at the doctor's office, the one place where we really should indulge our nosiness. That's the theme of a new campaign from Grey, New York, for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) that urges patients to be more forthcoming when visiting their docs. The ads show people in everyday scenes—placing an order at a restaurant, buying a cell phone—firing question after question of ridiculous inquiries. Then they clam up in the doctor's office. What's wrong with you people, can't you be obnoxious at the right time?

—Posted by Elaine Wong


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