by Michael dEstries
Categories: Film/TV.


I’m not sure if the Academy’s revamped awards show extended to the type of commercials shown during the break, but the more I paid attention to the ads, the more I realized that something seemed “different”.

Sure, there were your standard car promotions, a humorous Jimmy Kimmel spot with Tom Cruise, and that always heart-warming “Lost Dog” Mastercard bit — but we also had inspiring stories from Frito-Lay’s True North Nut brand, a recycling plug from Coke, and a heart disease awareness campaign from sister brand, Diet Coke.

As we mentioned last week, True North purchased a 60-second spot to highlight the work of Lisa Nigro, founder of Inspiration Cafe in Chicago. The spot, which was directed by Academy Award winner Helen Hunt, highlighted Lisa’s work in serving homeless people with dignity and respect and in a safe environment. “I’m so happy TrueNorth is telling Lisa’s story and even more excited that it will get such a tremendous audience,” said Oscar-winner Helen Hunt. “I wanted to show, in images, the spirit of what Lisa is doing. I’m hoping others will be as inspired by her as I was.”

Near the end of the Oscars — and right before the commercial-free sprint to the finish with Best Actor, Actress, and Picture — True North also aired a bit on Majora Carter and her Sustainable South Bronx non-profit. It’s not often that you hear the words “Green Jobs” during Oscar night. According to a press release, we can expect more True North inspiring stories throughout the year on television.

Would be wonderful to see such inspiring shorts in between product blasts. I think the entire country could use a bit of hope — even if it is from someone like Coke or a nuts company. Either way, kudos to injecting some humanity into the advertising last night. It was definitely a refreshing change.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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