Energy BBDO unveils new spot for The Cradle

November is National Adoption Month – and National Adoption Day is on Nov 23.

In honor of this, Energy BBDO has teamed with not-for-profit, non-religiously affiliated adoption agency, The Cradle, to help eradicate an associated stigma.

While children and families are celebrated globally when it comes to being adopted, there is still a great deal of bias and negativity around the women who make the decision to give up their child.

According to The Cradle, birth mothers are often viewed as troubled, desperate, and regretful, when in fact they are strong, resilient, and empowered.

The shame and stigma that exists doesn’t provide a safe space for women to discuss placing their child for adoption. 49% of U.S. adults agree that first/birth parents face a stigma in society today.

Kim Perez, President and CEO, discussed how she was moved by The Cradle with Reel 360, “Three years ago I joined the team at The Cradle. Until then, I never gave much thought to the words I used when speaking about adoption. Now, I understand that the common ways that so many people speak about it are perpetuating the stigmas related to those touched by adoption.”

Perez went on to describe the associated shame means there’s no safe space for women to discuss placing a child for adoption. In our society we say a parent is “giving up” their child, which frames the choice as a failure on the birth mother for not parenting her own child.

A new documentary-style film, “Give Up Giving Up,” seeks to remove stigmas by inviting people to change the way they talk – and think – about adoption. They’re giving up “giving up.” Instead of hiding or shaming birth mothers who place their children up for adoption, they are celebrating them.

Perez added, “Our #GiveUpGivingUp campaign is aimed at changing the way we talk about adoption in order to change the way we think about adoption.”



“This project was incredibly inspiring to work on. I was actually pregnant with my daughter throughout the concepting process, so all the emotions a pregnant woman would go through while making this decision felt especially tangible,” Energy BBDO Creative Director Michele Brandel, told Reel 360.

She added, “I have learned so much about the strength it takes to place a baby for adoption, and I love that The Cradle is trying to combat the stigma and judgment these women face with something as simple – but powerful – as the way we talk about it. I also appreciate that we’re inviting people to share their stories around adoption, too, to tell us the language they prefer to use and hear.”

The team behind the creative consulted with birth mothers throughout the writing and production process in order to create the most authentic depiction of a birth mother’s reality.

To maintain a level of intimacy, honesty and realism, the film was shot on 16mm film, using only natural light in a single take.

“It comes from an authentic place, rather than us just stating an alternate point of view. I love the raw emotions that we captured. The tear in the film was real—it was that intense. I hope that everyone touched by adoption, especially birth mothers, who watches this feels heard, understood, and even celebrated,” Brandel explained.

30-, 15-, and six-second versions will also run on Instagram stories and in Facebook carousels. All efforts drive to the Cradle’s website.

CLIENT: The Cradle
   Chief Creative Officers: Josh Gross, Pedro Pérez
   Creative Director: Michele Brandel, Erika Hillman
   Associate Creative Directors: Brynna Alyward, Dane Canada
   Copywriter: Mishal Jagjivan
   Head of Integrated Production: John Pratt
   Producer: Nina Xoomsai
   Chief Innovation Officer: Alan Parker
   Technology Lead: Robert Diel
   User Experience Architect: Cori Stankowicz
   Chief Strategy Officer: Larry Gies
   Integration Strategy Director: Leah Gritton
Strategy Director: Casey Conway
   Client Service Director: Anna Bleers
Account Executive: Nicole Kazan

   Director: Morgan Cooper
   Executive Producer: Sandy Haddad
   Producer: Johnny Starke

   Senior Post Producer: Jenny McDonald
   Post Producer: Sam Vaupel
   Managing Editor: Casey Cobler
   Senior Audio Engineer: Steven Aguilar
   Flame Artist: Mark Anderson

COLOR: Company 3
   Senior Colorist: Tyler Roth

MEDIA: Starcom Worldwide


PR COMPANY: Ketchum Chicago