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AUTISM SPEAKS and AD COUNCIL LAUNCH NEW PSAs Featuring Tommy Hilfiger and NASCAR Driver Jamie McMurray

November 7, 2011 33 comments

In 2006, Autism Speaks partnered with the Ad Council and BBDO to produce the autism “Odds” campaign. The Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign was designed to demonstrate the odds of a child reaching milestones parents think about often compared to the much greater chances of being diagnosed with autism.  We all dream that our child will one day be a professional athlete or famous musician, but in reality the “Odds” of your child having autism are far greater. Today, we launched two new spots featuring celebrities Tommy Hilfiger and Jamie McMurray.

The campaign has been a tremendous success, generating over $300 million in donated media, earning numerous awards, and most importantly, serving as a major catalyst to the rise of autism awareness in the general public over the last five years.

Part of the campaign’s impact can be attributed to the support of celebrity advocates whose lives have been touched by autism, such as golfer Ernie Els and singer Toni Braxton. These individuals have selflessly opened up about their private lives to show the world that while they have “beat the odds” to reach the pinnacle of their respective professions, they couldn’t beat the one and 110 odds of autism affecting their families – a powerful message that educates the audience about autism prevalence and the importance of learning its signs.

Building on this success, we launched the newest “Odds” PSAs featuring fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger and NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray, who both generously donated their time to help further the cause of autism awareness. Created pro bono by BBDO, the new PSAs take viewers on a voyage through Hilfiger and McMurray’s lives, highlighting the extraordinary statistical odds they each overcame on the road to their highly successful careers and ending with the startling one in 110 odds of having a child diagnosed with autism.

To capture Hilfiger and McMurray’s stories, BBDO crafted intricate handmade fabric and paper models that were brought to life by 3D computer animation. The resulting imagery is captivating – the viewer is lulled into storybook worlds where they witness Hilfiger and McMurray’s respective journeys from humble beginnings down the road to success, before being brought back to reality by the odds of a child being diagnosed with autism. The PSAs end by encouraging parents to visit autismspeaks.org/signs to learn the signs of autism and to seek early intervention if a delay is suspected.

Autism Speaks is extremely grateful to Hilfiger and McMurray for sharing their personal stories in an effort to raise autism awareness.  We also want to express our gratitude to BBDO and the Ad Council for their hard work and continued support. We are all very proud of these new PSAs and the impact they’ll have on the general public. Please take some time to check them out and feel free to give us your feedback.

Tommy Hilfiger

Jamie McMurray


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