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Proof That Anyone Can Be A Hero–Even The World’s Biggest A**hole

This new PSA from charity Donate Life America hilariously illustrates the power of being an organ donor.

Proof That Anyone Can Be A Hero–Even The World’s Biggest A**hole

Look, none of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. But whatever your faults, you’re probably no Coleman F. Sweeney. He insults the elderly, disrespects women, hurts animals, and laughs at the disabled, and yet even he can manage to be a hero in the end. That’s the message from charity Donate Life America in its newest PSA campaign to raise awareness about the importance of being an organ donor.

Created by the Martin Agency, and directed by Speck and Gordon (Office Christmas Party, Blades of Glory, The Switch), “World’s Biggest Asshole” is narrated by Will Arnett, with Thomas Jane as Coleman F. Sweeney. Donate Life America president and CEO David Fleming says this somewhat unconventional comedic approach is a result of seeing how incredibly difficult it is to stand out and get our attention, as well as target specific audiences, particularly those–young men–that historically don’t respond to standard marketing tactics.

“Our goal is to use this new strategy to cut through media clutter, start a conversation and move toward establishing organ, eye, and tissue donation as a culturally relevant health care topic, especially among young men who currently register at a lower rate than their female peers,” says Fleming. “The biggest challenge in getting people to register is getting them to take a moment, pay attention to the cause, and register. Most people believe that the only way to register is through a driver’s license or similar DMV transaction, which is great. However, if you are inspired today, you can register now in less than a minute at RegisterMe.org.”

Martin Agency group creative director Wade Alger says the goal here was to shine a light on a great cause, while getting millennials talking about it, and registering to become organ donors. They knew millennials like to be entertained even when the topic is serious. They like darker, edgier storytelling, and see through “bullshit” marketing faster than any other demographic, and if they like something they share it with friends.

“We also realized given today’s media-drenched society, we wouldn’t just be competing with other nonprofit work that is out there–we are competing with everything that is out there,” says Alger. “So we had to do something that really stood out. And while the campaign uses language that may be startling to some, it is increasingly routine among younger audiences.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor and writer with Co.Create. He's a former staffer at Advertising Age, Creativity and Canadian Business magazine.