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BBDO New York Partners with Autism Speaks to Create One-Of-A-Kind, Onetime TV Autism Awareness 'Ad'

Ad features trio of BBDO clients to help communicate message: “Early Diagnosis Can Make a Lifetime of Difference”

CNN to carry message on air; Undertone to deliver message online

NEW YORK, APRIL 28, 2014 – In an unprecedented move, BBDO New York has brought together three of its clients to help deliver a one-of-a-kind, onetime :60 commercial message designed to help raise awareness of autism and encourage parents to look for early signs.  The “ad” is timed to debut at the end of April, which is Autism Awareness Month.  The message, “Early diagnosis can make a lifetime of difference.”

But what makes this effort unprecedented is that the :60 message is actually made up of four, stand-alone short :15 commercials woven together in one seamless story that features the same family as they take a journey through their child’s upbringing, having coped successfully with the challenges of autism.  It begins with a family visit to a pediatrician, and then is followed by short commercials for clients like Campbell Soup Company and AT&T Wireless.  As viewers watch the commercials, they will notice changes in the four-to-six-year span between each advertiser’s spot.  The same parents appear in each commercial as the young boy grows up, interacting with his family in everyday situations involving these clients’ products.  The last story shows the heroic young man in graduation gear as copy states, “You just saw how early diagnosis can make a lifetime of difference.  Watch again or learn the signs at” 

“Autism affects around one in 68 children in the U.S.  However, research reveals that with early diagnosis and early intervention, behavioral therapies can improve outcomes,” said Andrew Robertson, President & CEO, BBDO Worldwide and a member of the Board of Autism Speaks.  Added Greg Hahn, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York, “With April being Autism Awareness month, we were looking for a way to dramatically tell this story.  We found it through a partnership with our brilliant clients who eagerly embraced the convention-breaking, innovative spirit of the idea.  The result is an ad that’s like the Super Friends of public education messages.”

“Campbell’s foods and beverages have played a role in life’s moments for generations and we applaud our long-time partner BBDO for their efforts in this campaign,” said Yin Rani, Vice President-Integrated Marketing at Campbell Soup Company.  “We value the close relationship we have built with families over our 145 year history.”

Added Esther Lee, SVP Brand Marketing & Advertising at AT&T, "As a company and brand, AT&T believes that you have to rethink possible to drive human progress.  That's what early diagnosis represents for children with autism.”

The ad is scheduled to air onetime on TV on Monday, April 28 on the CNN program New Day.  It will encourage viewers to watch again and go to to learn the signs of autism, because early intervention can make a “Lifetime of Difference.”  Thereafter, the message will continue to live online on YouTube at  Additional behind-the-scenes video will also be available for viewing.  A digital extension is expected to run online courtesy of Undertone.

“The importance of recognizing autism’s earliest signs is a critical message – one that CNN is honored to help deliver to our global television audiences,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide.  “This is an issue that needs awareness, and we’re pleased to have the platform to do just that.”

“This message has been months in the making and is a new approach that we’ve never seen before,” said Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization.  “It challenges the conventions of how people consume media today.  We thank BBDO for having uncovered such an innovative way to share the vital importance of early diagnosis.” 

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum.

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed nearly $200 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit

CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company.

Undertone is a digital advertising company that sits at the intersection of media, creative and technology. We develop immersive video, high impact and display ad units that enable brands to engage consumers beyond the confines of traditional banner ads. Through our technology platforms, we deliver these ads across screens and devices on a handpicked portfolio of the world’s best media properties. Find out more at and at

BBDO’s mantra is “The Work. The Work. The Work.”  Every day, BBDO people in 289 offices in 81 countries work day by day, job by job and client by client to create and deliver the world’s most compelling commercial content.  For eight years in a row, BBDO has been the most creative agency network in the world in The Gunn Report and for six years in a row, BBDO was also ranked the most awarded agency network across all marketing communications in The Directory Big Won.  In addition, BBDO has been named Network of the Year at Cannes five times and was named the world’s most Effective Agency Network in the inaugural Effie Effectiveness Index.  BBDO has been chosen Agency of the Year multiple times by the leading industry trade publications. 

BBDO ( is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE-OMC) (, a leading global marketing and corporate communications company.