Agency Brief: Zubi erects statues to melt before Floridians' eyes to shed light on climate change
Throughout September, various wax sculptures—of people, a colorful lifeguard hut and a Florida panther and her cub—began appearing in top Florida destinations. Representing things that make The Sunshine State shine—tourists, beaches and its state animal—the sculptures were placed in Miami, Tampa and Orlando. Then, in a matter of five days, the sculptures began disappearing before Floridians' eyes. Left behind was a warning: If the state’s worsening climate crisis is not solved, the essence of Florida will melt away.
The stunt, to raise awareness of the threat of global warming, comes from The Cleo Institute in partnership with Miami ad agency Zubi and Los Angeles artist, inventor and director Bob Partington, best known as the host of The History Channel’s “Thing-a-ma-Bob.” Zubi and Cleo—a nonprofit raising awareness of climate change—came up with the idea to build wax sculptures that would quickly melt. Partington created the sculptures with production house 1stAveMachine.
“It’s not just our beaches that are slowly disappearing as a result of sea level rise, algal blooms and coastal erosion, but also our wildlife and, ultimately, our very way of life in Florida,” says Yoca Arditi-Rocha, Cleo executive director. “Even during this terrible pandemic, climate change is still the single most important issue that Floridians face because of everything that we stand to lose, and our local, state and federal government are not doing enough.”
Cleo hosted multiple Florida Climate Crisis events throughout September in tandem with the campaign, which also includes a microsite for people to learn more about Florida’s climate crisis. The campaign was also picked up by several major news outlets including CNN, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times, Orlando Sentinel and Univision Television Network. According to Zubi, it generated 200 clips in print and digital media outlets as well as some 40 broadcast TV clips.
No shortage of discrimination
There is a blood shortage in the U.S., exasperated by the global pandemic that has led to the cancellation of thousands of blood drives. Yet there is no shortage of discrimination. Gay and bisexual men are still being turned away at blood banks due to a discriminatory restriction upheld by the Food and Drug Administration. Due to a shortage of donations, the FDA in April relaxed its restriction on how long gay men must wait to give blood after having sex with another man from a year to three months. The agency insists restrictions must remain in place to curtail the spread of H.I.V.—seen by many as an antiquated and prejudicial rule stemming from the ignorance that surrounded the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
FCB Health New York and Gay Men’s Health Crisis, which have been together promoting “Blood Equality” for the past four years, are continuing their fight to reverse the restrictions on gay and bisexual men's blood donations through their latest effort: “Blood Vessels.” The project features illustrations of two gay men, Lukus Estok and Ryan Koerber, who were recently denied the opportunity to donate blood. The men, who are COVID survivors, have been vocal in the news and on social media about their experience, saying they were turned away at the blood bank because they are gay after they tried donating their antibody-rich blood to others to fight coronavirus.
“When I volunteered the information that I am a gay man, the facial expression of the person I was talking to completely changed," says Estok, describing his experience at New York Blood Center. "And without any hesitation, the response back to me was, ‘Well, you will not be donating today.'"
Koerber laments about his experience of being turned away at a blood bank on Instagram: “A kind employee’s eyes filled up and confessed that this is happening to many people that walk through their doors. I left the building feeling confused, defeated, unworthy. I am just a human being who wants to help other human beings.”
The illustrations were created by Malaysian artist Vince Low, who used his signature style of making portraits from scribbles—depicted as blood vessels. The portraits of Estok and Koerber will run for four weeks via social, digital, out-of-home and print placements through the FCB Health New York and Gay Men’s Health Crisis partnership. They are aimed at shedding light on the discriminatory restriction with the goal of reversing it. All media placements were donated by Lamar Advertising.
“After the FCB Health New York team saw that the U.S. government and blood organizations like Red Cross were urging COVID-19 survivors to donate their antibody-rich blood as it could help current patients fight the disease, they were hopeful that gay and bisexual men who had recovered from COVID-19 would finally be able to donate their blood,” says FCB Health New York’s Fernando Brandt, a lead on the project. “After all, this is a global health crisis. Unfortunately, this was not the case.”
Driving dollars to Black-founded nonprofits
Work & Co debuted its first initiative—a digital tool aimed at addressing racial disparities in philanthropic funding—around the $1 million fund it set up in July “to support startups and organizations focused on the advancement of the Black community.” Give Blck is a guide for donors looking to find and support Black-founded nonprofits across America. It was designed to drive more dollars to underfunded causes and nonprofits, breaking them out into easy-to-navigate categories including arts and culture, health, athletics, environment, education, criminal justice, LGBTQIA+ and civil rights. As Work & Co points out, “Americans give $450 billion to charity each year. But only a tiny fraction goes to Black-founded nonprofits.” With this new platform, Work & Co aims to change that. Give Blck was co-founded by Christina Lewis, founder and president of All Star Code, and Stephanie Ellis-Smith, owner of philanthropic advisory firm Phila Engaged Giving. The initiative launches with support from Ford Foundation, Charity Navigator, Benevity and Microsoft’s philanthropic arm. Work & Co led the strategy, design and development of the Give Blck site.
"Racial disparities in funding not only limit the impact of Black-founded organizations, but without equity in funding for the entire social sector, philanthropists inadvertently contribute to inequities in society,” Ellis-Smith says. “Donors who care about supporting social change must think intentionally and proactively about race and racial equity."
JacobsEye onboards new Navy contract
JacobsEye Marketing Agency was awarded a media placement contract with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD), part of the U.S. Navy. Under the contract, JacobsEye will be responsible for media placement to support the division’s recruitment efforts. The NSWCPD oversees the Navy’s ships, submarines, military watercraft and unmanned vehicles. This is JacobsEye’s second contract with the U.S. Navy. The agency was recently awarded a five-year marketing contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a national recruitment campaign for the U.S. Secret Service, as well as a contract to assist the U.S. Navy Atlanta District with job placement. JacobsEye has also previously handled contracts for the U.S. Air National Guard, U.S. Army and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cashmere announced that additional partners have joined its social justice OneOpp initiative, the agency’s call to end police brutality that it started in June. Joining the coalition are Quincy Jones Productions, G-Eazy, The Revels Group, The Art of Chase, David&Goliath, Concept Arts, Pitch 5 Productions, Friendly Vengeance, Gram x Gram, Alchemy Media, Rock the Vote and 1 VoteCloser. The partners have all committed creative, media and financial resources to support OneOpp, which is fighting societal injustices within communities of color.
YML hired Rajeev Bhanot as head of product from The Walt Disney Co., where he was a senior director of growth and product management for Disney Plus, and Erica Sayers as director of client engagement from Huge where she was group engagement director on United Nations Women, U.S. Department of State, Capital One, Under Armour, Dell and Dun & Bradstreet. YML says despite the pandemic that has caused other shops to implement staff cuts, it’s been hiring. In the midst of the pandemic alone, YML says it hired 75 people and is looking to onboard another 35 to get its total headcount to 400 by the end of the year.
Cossette appointed Louis-Philippe Tremblay as executive creative director, which marks his return to Montreal, Canada after 17 years abroad. Tremblay was most recently based in New York as the chief creative officer for Publicis’ Team Samsung Mobile unit. He also spent time at Translation, Havas, BBDO, Tribal DDB, J. Walter Thompson (now Wunderman Thompson), Wieden + Kennedy and AKQA. He got his start at Montreal-based Sid Lee.
Publicis Sapient elevated Kameshwari Rao as global chief people officer. Rao has led Publicis Sapient’s Human Resources practices in various roles since first joining the agency in 2001. Her most recent position was group VP of people success. As global chief people officer, Rao will be responsible for “providing strategic leadership for its people agenda and building Publicis Sapient as an employer of choice,” according to the agency.
Droga5 London promoted Damien Le Castrec to head of strategy. He has been with the agency for the past two and a half years, most recently as strategy director. Le Castrec gains oversight of accounts including Amazon, Cupra and Barclaycard in this elevated role. Before Droga5, he was a strategy director at BBH, where he worked across clients Audi and Perfetti.
Havas Chicago named Jamie McGarry chief growth officer. McGarry will be responsible for the growth of Havas Chicago, Annex Chicago and Annex Experience as well as partner with other Havas agencies to drive further integration across the network. She previously led business development for DDB U.S.
Hogarth Worldwide hired Elyse Epstein as chief operating officer of North America and promoted Tania Smith to chief production officer of North America. Epstein comes to Hogarth from Ogilvy, where she was a managing director. She’s also held stints at Rapp and R/GA. Smith first joined Hogarth in 2014 and most recently was global production director.