'Sunshine,' Not Cigarettes

Cactus Uses CocoRosie to Dissuade Kids From Smoking

By Published on .

This PSA-style ad, for the Colorado State Tobacco Education & Prevention Partnership, begins like a spooky Tim Burton movie. Pitched at the ankles of a forest, a young, oblong girl holds a golden "C" in her hands as CocoRosie's Bianca Casady crackles and croons about "her crazy style." It's quite disorienting, but before long, all the elements come together.

The spot, "C-Tree," is meant to emphasize that the good choices young people make now can support them later. For creative agency Cactus and its art director Jeff Strahl, using the indie-pop duo CocoRosie was an early choice that itself helped to form the beautiful narrative.

"[CocoRosie's music] is so ethereal, magical and strange," Strahl told Songs for Soap. "I'm not sure if we chose this specific track or it chose us. It's one of those cases where everything fell into place."

Strahl, a longtime fan of CocoRosie, knew that he wanted to use a song from the familial duo (Bianca Casady sings and plays children's toy instruments, while her sister Sierra Casady plays most of the other instruments), but wasn't sure which to use. Through trial-and-error in iMovie, he came upon "Sunshine" (from this year's "The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn") and convinced the rest of his team that it was the right choice.

"It didn't take long to realize that 'Sunshine' was a perfect fit. It was one of those 'goose-bumps' moments when our 'Girl' throws open the door and CocoRosie cries out 'Sunshine.....' I got a big smile on my face and new that we were home."

For more on the campaign, check out the fun, lavishly constructed interactive site at ownyourc.com.
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