The Partnership's Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Creation of Campaign Advertisements
While the original spot (created in 1987) was aimed at general drug use, the strategy behind the new version is to de-glamorize the use of heroin. Graham Turner, creative director at Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners, Inc., calls the endeavor, "a good idea made great -- all for free."
In "Frying Pan," a young woman holding a cast-iron pan says, "This is your brain." She places an egg on a kitchen counter saying, "This is heroin." Lifting the pan over her head, she continues, "This is what happens to your brain after snorting heroin." After she smashes the egg with the frying pan, she proceeds to destroy dishes, glasses and everything else in her way as she screams, "This is what your family goes through, and your friends, and your money, and your job and your self respect and your future." Tossing the frying pan back onto the stove she looks directly into the camera and, of course, asks, "Any questions?"
Though the spot was originally written with a male actor in mind, the director, Eden Tyler, decided it would be more powerful with an actress. Rachel Leigh Cook, Tyler says, "wanted to get on board because it was such a great cause." The spot was shot in Los Feliz, CA, in one day. "We went through a lot of glassware and clocks, we trashed the house and had a lot of fun," said Tyler. "It was an honor to revitalize the original concept."
According to research, children who have mentors are 46 percent less likely to try drugs than are those children who do not have mentors. Recognizing the valuable role mentors can play, the Partnership has launched a mentoring campaign comprised of 30- and 60-second spots, including one called "My Reward."
"My Reward," by the firm of Christy MacDougall Mitchell, was shot near New York University in Greenwich Village, NY, and was completed pro-bono right down to the background music. "Thunderbird," the theme song from the movie Thelma and Louise, was generously donated by MGM Music.
The spot attempts to break down any negative, preconceived notions people may have about mentoring. The voice-over tells the viewer all the things a mentor is not -- a purple dinosaur, a pro-ball player, and a psychiatrist -- and tells the viewer what a mentor is -- a listener who unleashes hopes and creates self-esteem. His reward is the smiling face of a young child.
"A lot of people out there are asking you to do stuff," said Mal MacDougall, Jr., creative director, Christy MacDougall Mitchell. "We wanted people to know that all you have to do is be a listener and the rest falls into place."
For more information about the Partnership, visit their Web site at: www.drugfreeamerica.org.