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The Colonie Cuts Comedic & Hard-Hitting PSAs for AAD That Deliver a Serious Message

2 years ago38 views



The Colonie provided editorial, FX and finishing services for a pair of public service advertisements for the American Academy of Dermatology. The :60 spots feature sharply contrasting storylines and approaches to educating two high-risk demographics about the dangers of sun exposure and skin cancer: “Looking Good” targets men over 50 using a comedic scenario to communicate a strategy for early detection, while “Arms” tailors its message about prevention to young women between 14 and 18, using a touching story to educate them about the risks of tanning. HY Connect called upon the Chicago-based editorial and post boutique’s editor, Tom Pastorelle, to weave the footage into engaging vignettes that draw viewers into their stories and drive home these potentially life-saving messages.

Cut to a contagious beat, “Looking Good” takes a light-hearted approach to a serious issue. The :60 PSA opens with a portly middle-aged man sprightly dancing around the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, occasionally pausing to strike a comical pose in the mirror as he admires himself. Adding to the upbeat mood, a voiceover encourages his antics before segueing to some hard facts: Men over 50 are in the group most likely to develop skin cancer, including melanoma, the cancer that kills one person every hour. As the voiceover talks about the importance of examining your skin regularly and finding a partner to help, the man’s wife, who had been watching from the doorway, entertained and amused by her husband's antics, nudges him out of the bathroom, assumingly taking her cue from the voiceover to help him with the exam.

Pastorelle and agency creatives Norbert Shimkus and Jason Halverson’s first challenge was selecting the style of music that would work best. After trying some ‘70s funk and ‘80s new wave tracks, they finally decided that although the retro music was comedic, it distracted from the message of the spot, and so they went with more contemporary dance music.    

Pastorale brought his quirky sense of humor to the cutting of the PSA, embedding the serious message in a music-driven, fast-paced scenario. He used a jump-cut, frenetic style of editing, heightening the humor during the farcical dance vignette.The over-the-top comedic approach gets people’s attention in a light-hearted way, drawing them in to think about a serious issue and demonstrating how working a simple self-exam into their routine can help prevent serious health issues down the road.

In contrast, “Arms” takes a hard-hitting approach to warn teen girls that tanning now – both indoors and out – can have scary consequences in the future, including melanoma. The spot’s opening scene sets a fun, summertime mood as two best friends set out to enjoy a beautiful day. As the spot follows their lives, from high school prom and spring break to a friend's wedding, we see them comparing their tans and lying out in the sun, oblivious to the repercussions.

“For ‘Arms,’ we needed to find a balance between crafting a touching story that would also hold the attention of this young demographic,” says Pastorelle. “We also had to use the spot as an effective vehicle for educating young women about the potentially fatal dangers of the sun.”

The Colonie’s Lyndsay McCully created the title treatments used in-between the vignettes of the young women. Light flares were added as transitions as they faded in and out, creating the overall feel of the sun beating down.

McCully also created the AAD’s animated logos in “Arms” and “Looking Good.” Tom Dernulc, the online editor for both spots, also created effects for “Arms” that altered the complexion of the girls with discolored spots on the skin and touched up the footage.
CLIENT: American Academy of Dermatology
TITLES: “Looking Good,” “Arms”
LENGTH: :60, :30, :15
TYPE: Broadcast PSA Campaign

AGENCY: HY Connect/Chicago
Producer: J.P. McIntosh
ECD: Kevin Houlihan
Creative Directors: Michael Matykiewicz and Colin Quinn
Art Director/ACD: Norbert Shimkus
Copywriter: Jason Halverson
Account Director: Brad Most
Account Supervisor: Suzanne Velonis

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Method Laboratories
Executive Producer: Michael Savitz

EDITORIAL COMPANY: The Colonie / Chicago
Creative Editor: Tom Pastorelle
Assistant Editor: Emily Hayes
Finishing: Tom Dernulc
Assistant Editor: Ben Pokorny
Producer: Anne Siwek
Executive Producer: Mary Caddy

VISUAL FX/DESIGN: COMPANY: The Colonie / Chicago
VFX Artist: Lyndsay McCully

Colorist: Tyler Roth

AUDIO COMPANY: Chicago Recording Company
Mixer + Sound Designer: Eric Cauwels

MUSIC COMPANY: Hum Music / Santa Monica
Composer – ‘Looking Good’: Bruce Gainsford
Composer: ‘Arms’: Ramin Kousha

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