Coleman F. Sweeney is an asshole. In fact, he’s the “World’s Biggest Asshole.” He also the star of a brilliant and daring video for Donate Life America.
It’s a good bet that nine out of 10 companies would never have the guts to approve the ad.
Coleman Sweeney’s the guy who puts truck nuts and tacky bumperstickers on his pickup. He honks at little old ladies with walkers who are trying to cross the street. He shoots paintballs to dogs who poop in his yard. He rubs everyone the wrong way. Intentionally.
And then he drops dead and we learn that he has willed his organs for transplants. And he stops being an asshole. He actually becomes a hero.
Suddenly, we learn that this “asshole’s” liver is now allowing Stan, a nice father, to be around for his wife and kids. His heart is allowing a teacher named Miranda to teach for 25 more years. And his tendons allowed a wounded warrior, Sgt. Donahue, to walk again.
Coleman Sweeney Video Goes Viral
The video has been shared 1.5 million times in the past two weeks, so it may be making its point.
The Donate Life message is important because currently 120,000 men, women and children waiting for a organ donation, and roughly 8,000 of those people, about 22 per day, die each year because they won’t receive the organs they need in time. By signing up, a millennial could save as many as 50 lives.
I’m personally familiar with the need for organ transplants. The video was originally sent to me by a dear friend who received a lung transplant five years ago. And my late sister-in-law came very close to death while waiting for a liver transplant.
Aimed at Millennial Men
According to Adweek, The Martin Agency designed the video’s crude language and humor to appeal to millennial men. The goal is to encourage them to sign up for organ donation.
Andrew Liptak at The Verge points out that “at the very least, it’s a welcome reprieve from the sort of Sarah McLachlan-esque ads with sappy music that aim to shame viewers into taking action.”
In my opinion, this is one of the best message campaigns ever. Would you have approved its strategy?