Holiday Beard Decoration, Cancer Detecting Posters: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Kathryn Bigelow’s Elephant Poaching short, how to spot children’s eye cancer, YouTube rewinds 2014, and more.

Holiday Beard Decoration, Cancer Detecting Posters: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

It’s so awful, it almost sounds like someone made it up to freak people out. Child eye cancer. Unfortunately, retinoblastoma, an aggressive, deadly eye cancer that primarily affects young children, is very real. But the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) and agency Wunderman created a series of unique posters–featuring kids who have actually survived the disease–to show parents how to check their own kids for the disease.


Wunderman associate creative director Evan Jones told Co.Create that the idea came from the importance of detecting the disease as soon as possible. “CHECT talks a lot about the importance of early detection, yet there seems to be a widespread lack of awareness about the cancer, how to detect it and what signs to look for,” said Jones. “Flash photography has been recognized as a key to diagnosis for quite some time. What immediately struck us, though, was the power parents have to see the warning signs themselves using something they carry around with them all day, everyday: their smartphone.”

Read more about the campaign, and the rest of our picks for this week’s best in brand creativity.

Footlocker “Ready to Fly feat. Russell Westbrook”

What: NBA star Westbrook guides a young pupil through a master class in sports advertising cliches for Footlocker.
Who: Footlocker, BBDO New York
Why We Care: Footlocker and its agency BBDO New York have been on a hot roll lately, using funny ideas and great writing to make NBA stars seem as funny off the court as they are talented on it.

YouTube “Turn Down for 2014”

What: The platform’s annual cultural round-up remix and matches YouTube stars and mainstream hits together in one crazy choreographed act.
Who: YouTube, Portal A
Why We Care: It’s a bit surreal watching Kid President crash John Oliver’s set and Freddie Wong sit at Conan’s desk, but it also dutifully represents the kind of crossover popularity and status web video stars now enjoy. Top YouTubers are less “online stars” and more just entertainment stars. As for the video, who doesn’t want to get “All About That Bass, “Anaconda,” and “Let It Go” stuck in their head at the SAME TIME?

WildAid “Last Days of Ivory”

What: A three-minute animated short showing how the ivory trade funds terrorist organizations.
Who: WildAid, Kathryn Bigelow, Annapurna Pictures
Why We Care: Oscar-winning director Bigelow takes on a heavy subject with style. At one point, security-camera footage from the 2013 Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi, Kenya, is interspersed with the animation. The film then tells us that al-Shabaab, the group which claimed responsibility for the Westgate attack, makes $600,000 a month from illegal ivory. It’s a powerful message, skillfully, and beautifully delivered.

Grey London “Beard Baubles”

What: Agency Christmas card project-turned-hipster holiday hair genius.
Who: Grey London, Beard Season, Mike Kennedy and Pauline Ashford
Why We Care: Agency creatives Kennedy and Ashford came up with the idea of decorating your beard like it was a fraser fir. We’re talking about Christmas balls in the face. (Okay, that sounded weird.) They also teamed with Beard Season to use all proceeds from the baubles toward melanoma awareness. Here’s hoping they start making decorations for all the holidays–beard-o-lanterns at Halloween, face fur mini-flags for Fourth of July, the possibilities are, oh, never mind.


Childhood Eye Cancer Trust “#haveyouCHECT”

What: A series of interactive posters printed using reflective ink shows parents how they can simply check their child for eye cancer by using flash photography. By taking a flash picture of the poster you see the pupil of the kid’s seemingly healthy eye appears bright white in the photo. A white mark in a child’s eye on a flash photo is one indicator of a possible eye tumor.
Who: Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, Wunderman
Why We Care: The campaign achieves a unique win-win when it comes to disease PSAs, both raising awareness and providing utility by giving people a practical tool to help fight it.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.