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Posts Tagged ‘Toni Braxton’

SheKnows.com Launches Campaign to Benefit Autism Speaks

February 10, 2012 1 comment

Our friends at SheKnows.com, a top women’s lifestyle website, have launched “SheKnows Where the Other Sock Went,” an awareness and fundraising campaign benefitting Autism Speaks. The campaign will kick off at a star-studded celebration on the first Friday of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City.  The centerpiece of the campaign is a couture gown constructed from single socks donated by six-time Grammy Award winner and autism advocate Toni Braxton and designed by Project Runway star Michael Costello. A print campaign featuring the dress will be shot by famed fashion photographer Nigel Barker. The gown and print ad will be unveiled at the Sheknows.com Fashion Week celebration, and the dress will be auctioned off at an event in May, with all proceeds benefitting Autism Speaks.

Inaugural Weekly Whirl – Top Events of the Week

December 10, 2011 2 comments

If anyone knows how hectic life can get – WE DO! That’s why we have created the Autism Speaks Weekly Whirl to fill you in on all of the highlights of the week! The last thing we want is for you to be left out of the loop! Please share with friends and family to spread the word about all of the exciting things going on in the autism community. Keep in mind, these updates aren’t limited to Autism Speaks — we will be featuring news from across the community.

A Funny Affair Honoring Tommy Hilfiger
On Monday December 5, 2011 Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright and New York Center for Autism (NYCA) Co-founders Laura and Harry Slatkin honored iconic fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger for his commitment to increasing awareness and support of the autism community at A Funny Affair for Autism – a star-studded evening of fashion and comedy that helped raise over 1.3 million dollars for individuals with autism and their families.

New York Center for Autism Co-founders Harry & Laura Slatkin, Martha Stewart, fashion designer and Honoree Tommy Hilfiger, Honorary Chair Dee Hilfiger, Emcee and NBC Nightly News Correspondent Peter Alexander, Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne & Bob Wright

Blue Tie Blue Jean Ball
On December 1, the Los Angeles Chapter held the inaugural Blue Tie Blue Jean Ball. Over 700 people packed the House of Blues on the world famous Sunset Strip to hear the incomparable, beloved and ever gracious Sarah McLachlan sing some of her biggest hits.  She was introduced by autism mom and Grammy Award-winning singer Toni Braxton.   The show was hosted by comedian Sinbad, who also handled the live auction with humor and zip.  Other music performers were “American Idol” contestant Brooke White, Lucy Schwartz and Diane Birch.  Attendees included Autism Speaks National Board Member Holly Robinson Peete with her husband Rodney Peete, Matt Dallas, J.K. Simmons, Mark Salling, Ed Asner, and “Parenthood” cast members Mae Whitman, Sarah Ramos, Max Burkholder and Miles Heizer.

Sarah Mclachlan

Autism Speaks Headed to Albania
Hear from Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr as he shares about his trip to Albania for the opening of  the Albanian Children Foundation’s Regional Centre for Autism. Liri Berisha, M.D., and her husband the Prime Minister, Mr. Sali Berisha, took every opportunity to note that without Autism Speaks and Suzanne and Bob Wright, none of this would be possible.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Dr. Liri Berisha with Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr and his wife Chris

QBE $75,000 Gift to Autism Speaks
On December 7, 2011 Autism Speaks received a  $75,000 QBE Foundation Grant from QBE Americas. The grant will fund the development of the Employment Tool Kit. We are thrilled and thankful for their generosity!

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


Empire State Building Lights Up Blue

April 1, 2011 10 comments

On April 1,  Autism Speaks volunteers and supporters went the Empire State Building to flip the ceremonial switch to turn the building’s lights blue for the second year in a row. Bob and Suzanne Wright greeted the crowd and spoke about the over 1000 buildings around the world that are turning blue tonight in celebration of the fourth annual World Autism Awareness Day. They were joined by Emil Jensen Perez, a young man with autism who asked the Empire State Building to light blue for autism in 2008. Emil’s family are top walkers in the Westchester Walk Now for Autism Speaks. In addition, Grammy Award-winning singer and mother of a 9 year old boy with autism Toni Braxton greeted the crowd and shared her story of when her son was diagnosed.

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Autism is Closer to Home: Ad Council, Autism Speaks Launch New Awareness Ads

July 7, 2010 57 comments

This guest post is by Bill Shea, Autism Speaks’ National Director of Creative Services. He has been with Autism Speaks since the very first meeting in Bob Wright’s office at 30 Rock and one of his responsibilities has been offering creative guidance to the Ad Council and BBDO.

When BBDO and the Ad Council launched our first awareness campaign in 2006 the CDC numbers said that 1 in 166 children were on the autism spectrum. The challenge faced at that time was “How do we raise awareness about autism and to get the world to listen?”

Our first campaign was called the “Odds”. It was designed with the insight that parents and guardians have certain dreams and aspirations for their child. We all dream that our child will be the next Britney Spears or the next Derek Jeter. The “Odds” of your child having autism were greater then your child becoming a professional athlete, or a Grammy award-winning singer.

The campaign was immediately accepted and rapidly became one of the Ad Councils most popular campaigns. In its first year, the “Odds” campaign was ranked among the Ad Council’s top ten campaigns, with donated media reaching over 66 million dollars.

Just after we finished the second round of creative the CDC numbers changed from a prevalence of 1 in 166 to 1 in 150. We knew that our messaging was working but we also knew that we needed to make the spots more hard hitting – because the numbers were growing with no signs of a cause.

The team over at BBDO came up with the brilliant idea of turning the “Odds” campaign on its head. Why not show celebrities that beat the odds of becoming tops in their field but didn’t beat the odds of having a child with autism? The challenge then became who was going to be brave enough to show the world that they have a child on the spectrum? Well, we found them. Ernie Els and Toni Braxton. We never could have done the spots without the help of these two professionals who are at the top of their game. These spots helped to drive the message even further home and we saw awareness of autism rise over 20%  among parents of young children.

Then in December of 2009, the CDC announced the latest prevalence statistics, this time to 1 in 110, one in 70 boys.

Autism IS closer than you think.

To quote Ronald Ng, executive creative director, BBDO New York, “It is no longer someone in your distant friend circle; it is becoming a reality within your peers, and even your own family.”

I am proud to introduce you to the new Ad Council campaign created this year by our excellent team over at BBDO. Bob Emerson (Executive TV Producer), Ronald Ng (EVP, Executive Creative Director), Tim Wettstein (Associate Creative Director) and Patrick Herold (Associate Creative Director) worked with award-winning director Lasse Hallstrom to come up with this riveting and powerful ad that really brings this message home. Dan, the young actor in the spot, has a niece on the spectrum and the dad at the end of the commercial is the real father of Max, who is on the spectrum.

Thanks to all the great media outlets out there who continue to give us free space to run these important ads. Thanks also to the Ad Council for taking us on for another three-year campaign. We are sure that this ad will take the message of autism awareness to the next level.

Read Autism Speaks’ press release here.

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The Pin is In!

Who was recently spotted wearing the Autism Speaks puzzle pin? Grammy Award-winning recording artist (and Autism Speaks spokesperson) Toni Braxton!

Check out a clip from this morning’s “TODAY” show, where Toni, her band and her dancers all sported the Autism Speaks pin.

In 2008, Toni, who has a son with autism, recorded a series of PSAs for Autism Speaks.

Want to get your own Autism Speaks puzzle pin? Buy it now at the Autism Speaks online store!

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