Monthly Archives: November 2010

What if you revived Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and Serena Williams?

The agency TBWA\New York created the “Digital Life Sacrifice” for the charity “Keep a Child Alive” which aides families sufferring from HIV/AIDS in India and Africa.  Lead by the “Keep a Child Alive” ambassador, Alicia Keys, the Digital Life Sacrifice is an innovative way to raise funds for World AIDS Day by capitalizing on the success of certain celebrities social media presence.  Thus, Lady Gaga (the biggest star on the web with 24 million Facebook fans and 7 million followers on Twitter), Justin Timberlake, Usher, Kim Kardashian and many others (including Willow and Jaden children of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith) will be staging their online deaths tomorrow and will come back only when 1 million dollars in donations have been met.

Tomorrow, the participating celebrities will post a last tweet after midnight as well as (slightly morbid) videos of themselves in a casket.  For 35 dollars, US residents can purchase a “Buy Life” t-shirt on the Buy Life website.  These bar-code adorned shirts are scannable with StickyBits–every scan makes a 10 dollar donation.  You can also donate 10 dollars by sending an SMS to 90999 with the code BUYLIFE or the name of the star that fans wish to revive.  10 dollars is a small price to pay for a life.

What if we saved oysters by eating them?

Here in France, the holidays are synonymous with champagne, foie gras and raw oysters (known as huitres) a seasonal favorite.  It’s around this time of year that cafés start serving up the oysters on ice, tempting even the chilliest of passerbys.  As you may know, raw oysters are praised for their health benefits as they are incredibly rich in iron, zinc and magnesium — all essential nutrients especially during cold and flu season.  When I think of oysters, I think of the holidays.

Now, thanks to @USRealityCheck on Twitter, I discovered this article about “oyster recycling” going on in the Chesapeake bay.  Instead of throwing out used oyster shells,the Oyster Recovery Partnership collects them from restaurants and returns them to the Chesapeake Bay, to provide “homes” for new oysters.  In addition to being delicious and healthy, oysters are essential filters in bodies of water, a single oyster can filter up to 4 gallons in 1 hour!  In 2010, some 60,000 shells helped provide dwellings for some 450 million oysters.

I wonder if a similar initivative exists in France?

What if we got a lucky break?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTEUXjKm1pE&feature=player_embedded#![/youtube]

French writer Paul Guth once said “luck is what you don’t deserve”– this is perfectly exemplified by the above video that I saw on Facebook the other night, it’s a veritable hit-parade of lucky breaks! I was hoping I could use this video as an excuse to show the “lucky/unlucky” campaign done by Lucky Strike in the 80’s, but unfortunately (or, fortunately), it’s not on YouTube.  Instead, I found a different, smaller Lucky campaign, that you can check out below.  For the record: Smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy.  Don’t say you weren’t warned 😉

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYaRS0iBZiY&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

What if a condom was the price to pay for a good life?

What if a condom was the price to pay for a good life?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYWfEf2Dlbs[/youtube]

Next Wednesday is World AIDS Day.  For this occasion, AIDES, France’s first anti HIV/AIDS organization has released “A Life”, its latest film, aimed at the general public.  Unlike AIDES most recent film, the wildly popular “Zizi Graffiti”, which was made for a youth audience, “A Life” is a more serious look at the consequences of unprotected sex.  Although the AIDS virus has been around for some 30 years, we still need to be reminded that the disease affects the population at large.  Indeed, the average age at which HIV is detected as of 2008 is 28.2 years.  For women, age of detection has increased from 33.7 years to 36 years of age, for men, the rate has remained stable at 39 years.

The film, produced by TBWA\PARIS, features an elderly man who narrates his life from the end of it, to the beginning of it.  After descriptions of grandchildren, children, a marriage and travelling, we discover that at the age of 20, the narrator became HIV positive and thus, will not have the life that has just been described.  Although a few of the shots in the movie were filmed by the agency, most of it is comprised of home videos, donated anonymously.  The background music is“La Belle Vie” interpreted by the French children’s choir “Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc”.

This film will be shown on French TV, pro bono, December 1st.  I would like to thank everyone in the agency (Marianne, Pierre-Louis, Véronique, Marion, Teddy, Maxime, Guillaume…) as well as the production team “Les Temps Modernes”, headed up by Marie Bordaz (that’s “Bordaz” with a “z”!) and the Director K-Roll and the actor Axel Wursten, all of whom did work completely pro-bono.  Thanks to all who share this beautiful and affecting film on your social networks.

What if we went back home?

What if we went back home?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj6ho1-G6tw&feature=player_embedded#![/youtube]

My friend Emmanuel André (whose photography book Ubuntu is simply beautiful) shared this video with me on Facebook.  Titled “The Way Back Home”, it stars Danny MacAskill who goes by bicycle from Edinburgh to his childhood home Dunvegan on the island of Skye.  This is a nice change-up from the Tour de France 😉 !