Props to Schafer Condon for take on mortgage help PSA

Still from new PSA by Schafer Condon

The most effective TV commercials typically start with a strong, pertinent visual hook.  Ideally, that visual is supported by strong copywriting and all the other little details that come together to produce a good commercial.

Schafer Condon Carter/Chicago has found a quite effective visual hook for a new pro bono Ad Council public service announcement for the Making Home Affordable program, a federal government offering aimed at helping homeowners grapple with their mortgage payments. It’s a big problem, to be sure, because one in 11 homeowners nationwide reportedly has missed two or more mortgage payments.

The new SCC spot titled “Frozen” draws its considerable power from a series of images of people literally frozen in place in various locales.  One woman in her bathrobe stands motionless in her front yard in the process of bringing in the morning newspaper.  Another man is at his kitchen counter oblivious to the coffee overflowing the mug he holds. Another man in a factory just stares into space.

Public service print ad by Schafer Condon They are indeed chilling visuals that play to the message in the voiceover that talks about people becoming “petrified” when they don’t know what to do about their mortgages.

But the commercial turns more optimistic when the message shifts to encouraging viewers to take action instead of succumbing to fear.  We see a woman — in action — pick up a phone and make a call.

The SCC spot emphatically suggests viewers contact Making Home Affordable to perhaps facilitate a happier outcome for a troubling mortgage problem.

Agency credits: CD/writer Denny Hebson, art director, Cristen Young, producer, Leroy Koetz. Production: Director, Patrick Murphy of Elastic, L.A.; editorial, Rock Paper Scissors, L.A. music, Greg Allan, Sonixphere and sound mixing, Jamie Vanadia of Noise Floor.  

Watch the PSA.

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