|Known for||Photography, Directing TV Commercials, Brand Management, Design, Advertising, Youth Culture Expertise|
Michael Franzini is a nonprofit leader, artist, director, photographer, writer and creative director based in Denver. He runs Public Interest, a nonprofit ad agency that creates campaigns for clients that are typically nonprofit organizations, foundations or corporate social responsibility departments of for-profit companies. Current and past clients include Google, MTV, Panasonic, Rock the Vote, Walmart, and Partnership for a Drug Free America.
- 1 MTV Partnership
- 2 Work as CEO and Executive Creative Director for nonprofit ad agency Public Interest
- 3 The I KNOW Guerrilla Marketing Campaign
- 4 Rock the Vote Partnership
- 5 GUNPOWDER: The Power of Guayusa
- 6 Teen lifestyle photography
- 7 Youth culture
- 8 Baby photography
- 9 Norman, the puppy that moos
- 10 Books
- 11 References
- 12 External links
To address young people's lack of awareness of the Holocaust, Franzini partnered with MTV and the creative group at Arnold Worldwide and Crispin Porter + Bogusky behind the Truth anti-tobacco campaign to make the Holocaust more relevant to American teens today. He created a series of TV spots that portray events from the Holocaust taking place in a modern setting. Each spot ends with a freeze-frame that dissolves to an actual historical black and white photograph from the Holocaust.
To combat teens' indifference to the threat of STD's, Franzini and MTV created a campaign in which teens were shown recklessly refusing protection in non-sexual contexts, such as riding a roller coaster and going shark diving.
Work as CEO and Executive Creative Director for nonprofit ad agency Public Interest
In 1998, along with Jon Kamen and Frank Scherma, the founders of @radical.media, Franzini founded Public Interest, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to creating advertising for good causes, where he managed a staff of more than 50 people.
Work with Bill and Melinda Gates
He was Executive Creative Director of the STAND UP Campaign to improve America's education system. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation unveiled the STAND UP Campaign on The Oprah Winfrey Show on April 11 & 12, 2006.
Work with Elton John and Mary J Blige
Michael Franzini created a campaign entitled "The White Bedroom" featuring Elton John and Mary J Blige, in which real people cast from the sidewalks of New York City sit in a sleek white bedroom and share secrets about their sex lives.
The I KNOW Guerrilla Marketing Campaign
In possibly the first viral campaign to use currency as its medium, Franzini minted 250,000 coins resembling pennies and entered them into circulation in New York City. He made a  about the campaign.
Rock the Vote Partnership
Working with Rock the Vote in Los Angeles to shed light on young people's attitudes towards discrimination and bias, Franzini organized a social experiment in which kids at a skate park were segregated by security guards according to eye color. The surprising result was that virtually all of the kids complied without any objection.
In another setting—at a drive-through hot-dog establishment in the San Fernando Valley—Franzini put up signs that read "customers with foreign accents will be charged double" next to the menu board. In this case, the outcome was that no passive bystander (i.e. individual not being charged double) objected to the policy. (The money was returned to the customers after the transaction.)
Teen lifestyle photography
Franzini often speaks and consults on marketing to teens. He delivered the Keynote Address at the Ypulse Youth Mashup, an event for marketers trying to reach young Americans. He also spoke on U.S. youth culture at the Southern Growth Conference, at annual event attended by the governors of 13 Southern States.
In 2011, Johnson & Johnson hired Michael Franzini to travel to all 50 states to photograph one baby in each state. Each baby was photographed with one or both parents, sharing a moment of "everyday joy." The book was launched on The View on Mother's Day,2011.
Norman, the puppy that moos
Tim Gill, creator of Quark and founder of the Gill Foundation, gave Franzini a budget of US$1M to "move the needle" on attitudes towards marriage equality, in Colorado Springs, which is widely considered the epicenter of anti-gay sentiment in America, because it is the location of the headquarters of Focus on the Family.
Franzini assembled a team that created a fictional dog named Norman, who happened to be born different: instead of barking, he moos. Norman came to life in five TV spots, on billboards, banners on downtown street lamps, yard signs and via guerilla advertising.
The campaign succeeded in changing public opinion and sparked an international controversy and led to an announcement by James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, that he had a dog named Sherman, who barks, because God intended for dogs to bark.
Michael Franzini is the author of the following books:
- One Hundred Young Americans, published by HarperCollins. The book is a first-hand account of youth culture in America. It profiles one hundred teenagers in all fifty states. More than two hundred images show every kind of teenager from every part of the United States, mirroring census data for gender, race, religion and sexual orientation, balanced across urban, rural, suburban and small-town locations.
- Wounded Warriors, a photo essay created for the Wounded Warrior Project on soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Young Americans, a glossy 12"x12" coffee table book of images of California teens.
- Faces, a collection of images Franzini shot for T-mobile.
- "Treasuring Everyday Joy", a collection of images Franzini shot for Johnson's Baby in all 50 states.
- MTV/"Rollercoaster" EmmyOnline.org 2002 Winners
- MTV/"Yellow T-Shirts" EmmyOnline.org Past Winners
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- "Campaign Seeks Buy-In for High School Reforms", Education Week, April 19, 2006
- "California dreaming", VNU eMedia
- HarperCollins press release for One Hundred Young Americans