THE PRAGUE MARATHON
The Prague Marathon is considered one of the best in the world, in large part because of how the country feels about runners, and the sport of running. Our aim was to capitalize on that, positioning the Czech Republic as a running mecca. The European equivalent of Eugene. Here are a few pieces from our campaign that started in 2017, and is still going strong today.
SOCIETY OF GROWNUPS
MassMutual wanted us to find a way of selling life insurance to 20-somethings. Pfffft. Can’t be done. They got too many other things they need more. Beer. Cool haircuts. So we proposed a whole different business, one that provides all sorts of grownup advice to young people who’ve never been told about such things. Investing. Throwing a gracious dinner party. Managing to live the life you want by assessing your value systems. Anyway, MassMutual went for it. This is part of the poster campaign that blanketed Boston, and which got the company off to a really phenomenal start.
The world has turned into such an uncivil place, I wanted to create something that might get people thinking about the need to re-establish some rules of decorum. To address the meanness and hair-trigger tempers that ruin so many lives these days. If I were a politician, I guess I’d make a speech about that, or enact legislation. If I were a painter, I’d paint a mural. Well, I’m a copywriter. So I made a commercial. A spec piece that my friend Nick and I produced with a message that, in the end, sounded very Nike-ish. So it ended up being an unauthorized Nike commercial.
WEST NEWTON HEARING CENTER
The West Newton Hearing Center is an audiology group that wanted to do something different than the normal pharma style advertising. They wanted to take a sassier approach to selling hearing aids. Not tiptoeing around the subject of hearing loss. People shouldn’t be ashamed of it, for God’s sake. It’s a pain in the ass, but it’s not a character flaw. They also wanted to acknowledge that their clients were pretty hip people at one time in their lives. And many of them still had a lot of piss and vinegar, as my old man used to say.
The FDA was implementing new regulations for tobacco sales, and we knew that the poor schmucks behind the counter at the convenience store were going to get grief from customers. So we created a campaign that explained why we were doing it. And the consequences of not abiding by the law. We also created a bunch of in-store consumer materials designed to take the heat off the clerks, and place it on ourselves. Shit, everybody hates the government already. So what the hey.
This was a little freelance thing that ended up in Communication Arts. The gym’s clientele was a mix of body builders and Washington beltway office workers. I liked how the place welcomed both. I also like how the headlines manage to actually compliment people who are out of shape, appealing to their heads as well as their inner Cro-Magnon man.
I worked on this account for about 8 years. What a riot that was. Pete Favat and I created the “Grandmama” campaign that turned out to be a pretty major hit. (A long time ago.) Kudos to a pretty ballsy client. Here’s a small sample of some of the early print work.
THE YOGA SPOT
An art director friend visited this studio and was amazed at what the teacher could do. And stunned at what yoga had done for her (the teacher) who had been grossly overweight before taking up the practice. For this one, I got handed a few photographs, and was asked to supply headlines and copy. Nice to work that way sometimes.
The following are for an employee search system that rewards trusted employees for recommending qualified job candidates. They figured, nothing beats a personal referral. So H3 designed a way of institutionalizing the practice. Now, you’re probably wondering, how is this different from simply paying a bonus for great recommendations from employees. And the answer is, I don’t remember. But I do like the ads. This was a spec campaign that won us the business. And then the client mucked it up. (Sigh) I don’t want to talk about it.
This was part of a larger campaign we created to pitch the Bermuda Tourism account. The island has a certain sophistication, an easy charm, and the people have a rather refined sense of humor. We figured the work should reflect that.
U.S. AIR FORCE
The following ads were created for the Air Force. The headlines and copy ran as you see it here. But the art direction left a lot to be desired, in my opinion. So I re-comped them. I wanted to give my client a look that reflected not only the power of the Air Force, but the elegance. Even if it ended up being just for me.
THE WRITERS’ ROOM OF BOSTON
The Writers’ Room was a quiet, warm place for serious writers to work. A place outside of the home where they could be free of the usual distractions there. And where they could feel productive, along with the comradery of fellow writers. There were two parts to this campaign. One to invite writers to join. And one to solicit donations to support this nonprofit.
And one more pitch. With this one, we tried to build on the legacy of the Navy being the place for adventure. A way to see the world. For those who wanted to serve, we wanted to offer them a place with soul. The romance of the sea.
ST JOSEPH HOSPITAL
St. Joe’s is a little community hospital in New Hampshire with world-class oncologists. Their chief selling point beyond the quality of the care was that they got people in to begin treatment fast. Some hospitals take months to set up a program for patients. St. Joe’s managed it within a few days.
THE WILL POWER PROJECT
Another new business pitch campaign. This one for a South Carolina government agency that wanted to provide low-interest loans for residents to make their homes more energy efficient. All in an attempt to avoid having to build a new nuclear plant, which would require raising taxes, by a lot.
SUSTAINABLE SEAS COALITION
A coalition of activists hired us to create a campaign to promote environmental responsibility, getting shoppers to choose fish that were sustainably harvested. The following are a few images that appeared on the coalition’s Facebook campaign.
UP IN YEARS
A few times every year, IDEO management would identify big areas of social interest, and then invite the entire firm to submit ideas pertaining to that subject. Up In Years was our submission in the area of problems associated with aging. Turns out, seniors are taking advantage of the fact that they are beyond child-bearing age, and are letting their hair down. They're having sex more often, and with more partners. Unfortunately, age doesn't give them immunity from sexually transmitted diseases. We figured it was time to point that fact out to them.