Michael Franzini

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Michael Franzini
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.[1] Current and past clients include Google, MTV, Panasonic, Rock the Vote, Walmart, and Partnership for a Drug Free America.[2]

MTV Partnership[edit]

Michael Franzini's work with MTV has won numerous nominations and two Emmies.[3][4]

To address young people's lack of awareness of the Holocaust,[5] 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.[6]

To combat teens' indifference to the threat of STD's,[7] 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.[8]

The New York Times quoted Stephen Friedman, now President of MTV,[9] describing Franzini's unique connection with the MTV demographic: "Mike gets our audience."[8]

Work as CEO and Executive Creative Director for nonprofit ad agency Public Interest[edit]

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.[10][11][12]

Work with Will.i.am[edit]

In 2012, Franzini wrote and directed TV spots featuring Will.i.am to motivate young Americans to get interested in math and science, as a means of addressing America's STEM crisis[13]

Work as organizer of Global Online Town Hall with Al Gore[edit]

On behalf of Time Warner Cable, Franzini organized an online town hall meeting with Al Gore. Franzini wrote talking points for Gore and directed Gore in the one-hour live event.[2][14][15]

Work with Bill and Melinda Gates[edit]

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.[16]

Work with Elton John and Mary J Blige[edit]

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.[17]


The I KNOW Guerrilla Marketing Campaign[edit]

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.[18][19] He made a [1] about the campaign.

Rock the Vote Partnership[edit]

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.[20]

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.)[21]

The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times covered the experiment.[20][22]

GUNPOWDER: The Power of Guayusa[edit]

Franzini founded this company and served as its CEO before it crumbled in flames 18 months after its opening day.[23][24]

Teen lifestyle photography[edit]

Wall-sized prints of his photographs have appeared in retail locations such as Pacific Sunwear, a chain of more than 800 retail stores targeting teens and young adults. [25]

Franzini's photographs documenting American youth culture have also been exhibited at Nike's Beaverton, OR campus and the offices of McCann Erickson J3 in New York City.[26]

His images have appeared in art galleries around the world, including Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art.[27]

Youth culture[edit]

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.[28] He also spoke on U.S. youth culture at the Southern Growth Conference, at annual event attended by the governors of 13 Southern States.[29]

Baby photography[edit]

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.[30]

Norman Bus Wrap
A bus wrap created as part of the Norman campaign

Norman, the puppy that moos[edit]

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.[31][32][33]

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.[33]

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.[31]

Dobson explained that, if Sherman ever felt tempted to moo, he would take steps to cure himself of this unnatural behavior.[31][33]

Books[edit]

Michael Franzini is the author of the following books:

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://publicinterest.tv
  2. ^ a b http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tech-coast-angels-portfolio-company-vokle-provides-technology-platform-for-al-gore-and-time-warner-cable-global-online-town-hall-meeting-on-education-108660349.html
  3. ^ MTV/"Rollercoaster" EmmyOnline.org 2002 Winners
  4. ^ MTV/"Yellow T-Shirts" EmmyOnline.org Past Winners
  5. ^ http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1993-04-20/news/1993110122_1_holocaust-lack-of-knowledge-high-school-students
  6. ^ http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising/arnolds-thinkmtv-work-chilling-brilliant-91762
  7. ^ http://www.kff.org/entpartnerships/upload/sexsmarts-survey-sexually-transmitted-disease.pdf
  8. ^ a b http://www.thepixelsociety.com/portfolio/adfutures/article8.html
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  10. ^ http://www.shootonline.com/go/news-view.ev-web2-46231-1162395424-2.Creative-Voice.html
  11. ^ http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/23159259/michael-franzini
  12. ^ http://teens.adweek.com/aw/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1085779
  13. ^ http://x-up.com/will-i-am/
  14. ^ http://www.timewarnercable.com/content/twc/en/about-us/news/overview.html
  15. ^ http://vimeo.com/20896786
  16. ^ "Campaign Seeks Buy-In for High School Reforms", Education Week, April 19, 2006
  17. ^ http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising/ads-against-aids-61865
  18. ^ http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/5-5-2/28326.html
  19. ^ http://www.mediathatmattersfest.org/news/do_you_know_the_facts_about_aids
  20. ^ a b http://articles.latimes.com/2003/dec/14/local/me-discrim14
  21. ^ http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising/cpb-attacks-discrimination-la-county-69160
  22. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/15/business/the-media-business-advertising-addenda-rock-the-vote-tackles-discrimination.html
  23. ^ https://www.wsj.com/article_email/young-entrepreneurs-update-tea-time-with-ingredients-like-guayusa-1430322646-lMyQjAxMTI1NzI3OTcyNjkyWj
  24. ^ http://x-up.com/gunpowder/
  25. ^ "California dreaming", VNU eMedia
  26. ^ http://100youngamericans.com/blog/?p=18
  27. ^ http://phhfineart.com/exhibition_MichaelFranzini.html
  28. ^ http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/03/prweb762734.htm
  29. ^ http://www.southerngrowth.com/conference/confspeakers.html
  30. ^ a b http://www.laurenhoffen.com/laurenhoffen_work_jandj.html
  31. ^ a b c http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/gay-rights-in-america-meet-norman-the-gay-icon-409554.html
  32. ^ http://www.borndifferent.org
  33. ^ a b c http://michaelfranzini.com/norman.pdf
  34. ^ HarperCollins press release for One Hundred Young Americans

External links[edit]