Companies Committed to Kids
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|Founded||February 26, 1990|
|Dissolved||March 30, 2017|
|Products||Public Service Announcements|
|Concerned Children's Advertisers|
Companies Committed to Kids (formerly known as Concerned Children's Advertisers) is a Canadian non-profit organization based in Toronto, founded in 1990. It has produced over 30 public service announcements, covering topics such as drug abuse, conformity, self-esteem, and bullying. Each PSA ends with the logo of the organization. Usually, the commercials partner up with Health Canada.
The organization and its campaigns are supported by various television networks, stations and specialty channels throughout the country, as well as one border station in the United States (KVOS-TV).
Its members are private companies that market to children and families, including McDonald's, Disney, Mattel, Pepsico, Teletoon, Hasbro, Corus Entertainment, Hershey's, Kellogg's, Kraft, Loblaw, Nestle, General Mills, Weston, Canwest, CTV, ZenithOptimedia, and the Institute of Communication Agencies.
The organization was dissolved on March 30, 2017.
Public service announcements
Substance abuse prevention
- Brain (1990): One of the very first commercials by the organization, this commercial depicts a brain made up of a series of electrical wires. A female authoritative voice tells the viewers to think about what drugs can do to people's brains, dreams, and future. An unseen person holding a pair of wire cutters is cutting up the brain's wires, showing the effect of more drugs being consumed, before it eventually short-circuits. The commercial ends with the female voice saying: "Think about it—while you still can." AGENCY: Cossette, Inc.
- Crack (1990): This brief commercial depicts a body bag on a stretcher. The same narrator from the Brain commercial tells viewers that in the past two years (1988 and 1989), over 5,000 people in Canada and the United States have died from using crack or cocaine. She ends the commercial saying, "Do yourself a favor... think about it". AGENCY: Cossette, Inc.
- Be True to You (1990): In this commercial, the narrator is a teenage boy wearing a red and black shirt, and he is meeting with three of his friends. He talks about the perceptions of teenage drug use, and his message is very clear... he wants children to make healthy decisions and do what is right for them. One of the memorable lines of this commercial is "Just because we are young, doesn't mean we are stupid." AGENCY: Intergroup.
- Drug Rap (1990): In this commercial, a rap song about the choices of drugs is performed by a group of children and adults. AGENCY: McArthur, Thompson & Law
- Syringe (1990): This commercial takes place on the urban streets of Toronto at night. A rat is walking while a syringe is sucking up dirty water from a gutter. A man's voice says, "There's a lot of stories about the stuff that gets into street drugs." The hand holding the syringe pushes the plunger down, as if the contaminated water is being injected into someone. The empty syringe is tossed in the air and comes down shattering on to the concrete while the rat flees. Then the man's voice says, "So if you're afraid of what's been done to them, wait till you see what they do to you," as more filthy water runs down over the pieces of the syringe. AGENCY: FCB Canada Ltd.
- Elevator (1990): A hydraulic elevator is depicted as a metaphor for drugs and its devastating effects. AGENCY: FCB Canada Ltd.
- No Label on Drugs (1990): This PSA touches upon the dangers of medications not clearly labelled by the government, which can minimize the tragic consequences of children gaining access to them. AGENCY: FCB Canada Ltd.
- Interaction (1990): Need information. AGENCY: FCB Canada Ltd.
- Cocaine (1990): Need information. AGENCY: FCB Canada Ltd.
- Substance Abuse Testimonials (1990): This is a series of four commercials. The speakers of each commercial are Cynthia, Lisa, Doug, and Steve. Each of these people tell their side of the story of why they became drug addicts, and that the way they take drugs, they are hurting themselves and their families. AGENCY: Saatchi & Saatchi.
- Mimic (1990): A child pretends to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes (using various items for play), while black and white images of said things are shown throughout. This shows how children can easily mimic adults, even in doing inappropriate actions such as smoking. Edited May 25, 1990. AGENCY: Highwood Communications Ltd.
- Rehab (1992): This commercial is a story about a young boy recalling about his life of using drugs and his childhood days with his brother. He is initially seen sitting inside his room in a rehab facility watching a clear view from outside. The music in the background is an old song performed by The Hollies, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother". He walks out of his room and spots his brother visiting the facility before embracing each other. The commercial ends with a voice-over saying: "If you try to stop a friend from using drugs, you may not succeed, but at least you tried—and that's what friends are for". AGENCY: FCB Canada Ltd.
- Hip Choice (1993): This commercial begins with a text message that says "Ever Thought About Taking Drugs?". It then shows two children standing (they are latex puppets, not real people) encountering a drug pusher wearing shades in an alleyway. The drug pusher sticks out his hands showing them the drugs and tells them that they have a choice of whether they will take them or not. A flash-sequence of disturbing images of drug addicts and celebrities that died from drugs appears when the pusher sticks out his hands. The children eventually ignore the offer and walk away from the drug pusher. The drug pusher then takes off his shades, revealing his hideous yellow eyes. There are three variants of this PSA with different endings:
- The drug pusher takes his shades off to reveal his hideous, yellow eyes.
- The drug pusher doesn't take his shades off and hangs his head (maybe in defeat). This version is less scary than the first and was used for later airings.
- The drug pusher takes his shades off to reveal his eyes; this is the same as the first, but the camera zooms in on his eyes to add to the terrifying effect.
- AGENCY: YTV Canada, Inc.
- Loser (1995): This commercial takes place in an old car resembling a 1969 Ford Mustang, with four teenagers smoking pot. The commercial focuses on two of the teenagers; one, implacably a "cool" kid, and the other, the "loser". The "cool" kids recalls past activities he once enjoyed before his addiction, such as sports, while joking around with his friends, and chides the "loser" for being into different stuff. The "cool" kid then says he likes to party and that guys like the "loser" didn't know how to party. A message pops up, reading "Can you spot the losers?" The narrator then says "Truth is, there's a million things to do that are more fun than sitting around getting stoned." The commercial ends with the message, "Think about it." AGENCY: Leo Burnett Company Ltd.
- Transactions (1995): A guitarist, presumably a street musician, is standing on a Toronto street interacting with the camera, offering the viewer several choices; you can feed your pet hamster when you're supposed to or he'll die, you can eat a ton of fries or look good in pants, and finally, "you can do drugs or you can do everything else." AGENCY: Vickers and Benson Advertising Ltd.
- Storytime (1991): A woman reads a story about a family of raccoons. In the story, a baby raccoon finds various foods that are said to be unsafe for raccoons (this is to show that some things are unsafe for children). The baby raccoon eventually finds an apple that is safe for him to eat. AGENCY: Palmer Jarvis DDB.
- Labyrinth (1991): A group of children find a discarded syringe and talk about what to do with it. The commercial ends with the message, "Remember, if you find a needle tell somebody." AGENCY: Cactus Productions Inc.
- Don't You Put It in Your Mouth (1992): This well-known commercial makes the use of song and puppetry, depicting two blue creatures singing a song about the dangers of putting strange objects into one's mouth. A lion ends the commercial saying "Always ask someone you love before you put anything in your mouth." There are two variants of this commercial with different endings:
- The lion ends the commercial saying "Always ask someone you love before you put anything in your mouth."
- The lion gives a brief explanation about why you shouldn't put things in your mouth when you don't know what they are.
- AGENCY: Cactus Productions Inc.
- The Trap (1993): Two mice come across a mouse trap with a piece of cheese on it. One mouse convinces the other to avoid it, and to ask for help if they don't know what something is. One of the mouse puppets from this PSA was used in The Big Comfy Couch. AGENCY: Radical Sheep Productions Inc.
Child abuse prevention
- How Was Your Day? (1995) A teacher tells her child about a student who gets abused. She explains to her child that the student thinks his mother is always mad at him. The student's mother hits him, yells, and breaks things. She tells him that he did the right thing by telling her. The commercial ends with a message saying "Tell someone you trust when something is wrong. They want to help." AGENCY: Leo Burnett Company Ltd.
- Choose (1995): The commercial introduces many children suggesting that you can choose what you want in life and nobody makes your decisions. AGENCY: MacLaren McCann Inc.
- Moe Funky (1995): A stylized look at the games of youth that carries the message: don't play games when making the important decisions in life—use your head instead. AGENCY: J. Walter Thompson Company Ltd.
- Smart as You (1997): In this PSA aimed at children, an anthropomorphic television talks about programs children can see on TV, and that they are smarter than it (meaning that children make the choices about what they can do). Some footage from an old YTV programming block, ReBoot and It's Alive! are shown. AGENCY: FCB Canada Ltd.
- House Hippo (1999): In this documentary-style PSA, it begins introducing viewers to a typical kitchen during the night, eventually introducing the "House hippo", a small hippo-like creature who is apparently infesting the house. They begin adding bits of information gradually until the end, where an image of a real hippo and her young appear on a TV. A female narrator now admits that the house hippo wasn't real and that media literacy is important, as well as asking questions. AGENCY: Publicis.
- We Are Girls (1997): Shows various female preteens and teenagers expressing what they will and will not do. The commercial ends with the message, "We are girls. We will do what is right for us." AGENCY: Vickers and Benson Advertising Ltd.
- Boutique (1998): After seeing an attractive girl leaving a store, two girl friends enter the boutique, hoping to look like the girl. Once inside, they realize that this boutique's purpose is to change people. The girls experience various stages that should change them, such as the application of makeup, plastic surgery, and the "Personality Changing Room". Throughout the commercial, a Big Brother-esque woman speaks on a screen, saying "Why be you, when you can be me?" The girls decide to leave the store as themselves. AGENCY: Palmer Jarvis DDB.
- What's Your Thing? (1999): A commercial showing various children and teenagers' favourite things, such as tap dancing, magic tricks and making sound effects. It ends with the message "Nobody's good at everything; everybody's good at something." It also has the kid who makes a funny T-Rex scream, which has been now remembered and laughed at. Edited May 12th, 1999. AGENCY: Ogilvy and Mather Advertising.
- Bundle Up (2000): A group of boys are seen walking on a sidewalk. A mother of one of the boys drive up to them, get out of the car and put a jacket on her son. It ends with the message "Boy, it's not easy being one". Edited July 25, 2000. AGENCY: Ammirati Puris Lintas.
- Knock on Wood (2000): This commercial depicts a few teen guys trying to convince a younger boy to play Ding Dong Ditch. The younger boy walks up to the door, but the outcome is never shown. It ends with the message "Boy, it's not easy being one". Edited on Talk Like a Pirate Day of 2000. AGENCY: Ammirati Puris Lintas.
- Mental Wellness (2012): It shows a man and a woman in a kitchen with their daughter sitting at a table. The woman reminds her husband that they will be seeing her parents, the husband declines due to work and the two begin to argue, with the wife pointing out their daughter is in the room and not to fight in front of her. The husband immediately leaves the room in frustration. As the argument goes on, the camera pans to show the girl is in a classroom with the kitchen behind her. A female narrator then tells the viewer that 1 in 5 kids under 11 have mental wellness issues. AGENCY: Viacom International.
"Stay Fit, 'Cause You Never Know"
- Ice Scream (2001): Four children sit on the grass. They see an ice cream truck pass by and the children try to chase after it, but run out of breath. AGENCY: Cossette, Inc.
- The Chase (2001): A boy runs away from three girls. He starts to feel very tired, and the girls catch up with him and try to kiss him. The music in the background is Fila Fila by Roberto Cardinali. AGENCY: Cossette, Inc.
- Blown Away (2001): A boy gets a trading card (a Pokémon card) from a store, but it gets blown away by the wind and he runs out of breath attempting to grab it. The music was later used in the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which came out in 2004. AGENCY: Cossette, Inc.
- Walk Away (2002): A bully is shown apparently threatening someone, but as the camera pans out, it shows he is, in fact, not threatening someone, but that he is bullying thin air, because no one is around for him to bully. Was edited May 21, 2002. AGENCY: Publicis.
- Words Hurt (2003): A girl goes to get a drink at a water fountain, then sees several other girls hanging out. The girls begin to tease the girl, saying things that literally form words and attack the girl. The girl then runs away, as one of the insults chases her. Was edited Jun 13th, 2003. AGENCY: Publicis.
- Tell Someone (2005): As a boy wakes up in the morning, he has visions of another boy who bullies him at school. The bully teases the boy throughout the morning until the boy talks to his mother about the bully, and the vision disappears. Was edited Jun 30th, 2005. AGENCY: Round Table Advertising.
Healthy active living (Long Live Kids)
Part of the Long Live Kids campaign, created in conjunction with the Knowledge network in British Columbia. The "Body" ad was not used on Knowledge Network, only Discovery Kids (Canada) and BBC Kids, this was the very first PSA that was released a year after.
- Health Rock (2004): A lively 60 second animation featuring someone's T-shirt with a blue creature on it which turns animated. It has an entertaining theme song that explains the importance of balancing food and activity and encourages kids to "eat smart and move more." AGENCY: J. Walter Thompson Company Ltd.
- Head (2006): Shows a boy on his computer and grabbing a plastic container with his mouth. It ends with a text message saying "Choose a variety of foods". Was edited February 10th, 2006. The boy is Lamar Johnson, from the TVOKids programme Pop It!. AGENCY: Round Table Advertising.
- Body (2006): Shows a boy on his computer and then shows him taking his head off and setting it on the desktop, and shows the body dancing to hip-hop, also shows head smiling at the dancing body before it ends with a text message saying "Move your body at least 30 extra minutes each day". Also edited February 10, 2006. The boy is Lamar Johnson, from the TVOKids programme Pop It!. AGENCY: Round Table Advertising.
- Media Monkey (2010): A girl is first shown reading a book with pages torn out by a monkey in a sailor suit, and shows the girl entering a contest on the computer; the monkey returns and unplugs the computer, and they fight over the TV. This PSA ends with the message "You don't need a Media Monkey to make healthy choices. Think for yourself". Edited in February 2010. AGENCY: Bensimon Byrne.
- Who is Helping Us Out? Archived 2009-06-22 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Companies Committed to Kids dissolves on March 30, 2017".
- "Don't Put It In Your Mouth (Full Version, 1993)". 2007-06-23.
- "Fila Fila - Roberto Cardinali CCA- the chase song". November 15, 2010.
- "Concerned Children's Advertisers monkey with the Olympics". Marketing Magazine. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2011-08-17.