charity: water: Imagine Drinking This

Advertisements don’t always work. If they did, they’d be a much easier sell to clients, higher ups, and financial teams. But, if you look at companies and organizations that fully commit to commercial advertising, dive in completely without flinching, you can almost always expect to see global success – Geico, United Way, McDonald’s, YMCA.

And, yes, it usually takes endless focus groups, round-table discussions, late night scribbling on hundreds of sticky notes to create the perfect ad that will effectively accelerate your business or organization. But, there are also those rare occasions (if you’re both super-lucky and smart enough to bring on the right people) that one or two women or men come up with that future-shifting concept that the entire team instantly jumps on. Either way, what the client must do is the same. Trust the process. The integrity of the project depends on it. Input is great, and being thorough even better. But, in the end, crossed t’s and dotted i’s don’t always fit into the creative process.

The above charity: water spot was the result of a conversation at a gallery opening in Manhattan. Myself, director/producer of a blossoming production company, and Scott Harrison, the head of charity: water, a hugely impactful organization designed to deliver clean water to millions in need, stumbled upon this concept over cocktails. And just a few weeks later, with the right connections, and a whole lot of trust and willingness, we successfully wrapped it up in images and delivered it to viewers across the country. We had tons of help, and an amazing crew, but as importantly we had freedom…to run with an idea that would change things forever for millions of people.

Charity: water shot out of the dark soon after, and became a household name. Donations started pouring in, and new initiatives sprung up around the globe. In 2014, the organization received over 43 million dollars in donations – the fruit of seeds planted at places galleries with drinks in hand.

All this to say that a good concept, no matter the package it’s delivered in, can literally be worth millions – both millions of dollars and millions of healthier people. Sometimes to get at the best ideas, though, you have to let go of the reins, budget concerns, doubt, and let the seeds be planted where they will. And, then, it’s all about trust. Trust that the  people who have done it can do it again, and that when they succeed, so will you.


Project categories: Commercials & PSAs, Featured Videos

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