Awkward silences are weird, and for most of us, to be avoided at all costs. But what if suffering through that awkwardness, actually breaking it, could help a friend? That’s what a new PSA campaign from The Ad Council on suicide prevention, and mental health aims to do by taking a light-hearted approach to a serious issue. Beyond the main spot, there are a few tutorial videos on how to know if you should reach out to a friend, how to start the conversation, and how to keep that conversation going. Turns out, you can learn something worthwhile from a strange dude in a brown turtleneck. Onward!
The Ad Council “Seize The Awkward”
What: A new suicide prevention PSA campaign from The Ad Council, with The Jed Foundation and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Who: The Ad Council, Droga5
Why we care: There’s no easy way to talk about these things. The spot is corny enough to be self-aware, but sincere enough to send a great message. Plus, the overall campaign also weaves in a handful of influential YouTubers like Hannah Hart, talking about how they’ve dealt with mental health challenges.
Beats By Dre “Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team”
What: A new ad featuring Nigeria’s bobsled team that’s part of Beats By Dre’s Winter Olympic campaign.
Who: Beats by Dre, Hustle
Why we care: It’s like Cool Runnings, but set to G-Eazy and Zoe Nash’s “The Beautiful & Damned.”
Bud Light “Ye Olde Pep Talk”
What: The latest in the brand’s impressively silly “dilly dilly!” campaign.
Who: Bud Light, Wieden+Kennedy New York
Why we care: The key to any great leader is knowing what motivates those around them. And because of that, this king is like the medieval Herb Brooks of light beer.
Emergency “Every Person Matters”
What: A PSA from NGO Emergency that finds an effective way to reiterate the old adage: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Who: Emergency, Ogilvy Italy
Why we care: Emergency is an NGO that provides medical services to victims of war and poverty. Here, we get a closer look at someone typically at the fringe of city life, who in one crucial moment shows he’s much more than his current life circumstance. Everyone’s said no to a hustling rose merchant, but this is a nice reminder of our shared humanity.
KFC “The Comfort Zone”
What: A nine-minute, pot-pie-based mediation system. Yes, really.
Who: KFC, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
Why we care: The vibe here is straight out of the Tim & Eric ad vault, and there are worse things to focus your relaxation on than a pot pie. Like with more than a few KFC projects, the commitment here is perhaps what’s most impressive. NINE MINUTES!?! It’s utterly absurd, and yet pretty damn mesmerizing.