Category Archives: Campaigns

Right Out of the Brew

First, let me say that I am not secretly shilling for a coffee company. No one pays me to write the stuff on this blog. And I’m not expecting a case of free java in exchange for today’s post.

But I will say that I enjoy the recent string of Maxwell House coffee ads that suggest you’re not actually watching a Maxwell House coffee ad. No, you’re really taking what the company calls an “optimism break.”

During each thirty-second spot, you watch a video of an inspiring person. In one, it’s a happy little girl with springy curls in front of a mirror, doing the best personal affirmation I’ve ever witnessed. In another’s it’s an honest homeless man whose life changed for the better after he returned a lost wad of cash. Sure, we saw some of these go viral on YouTube long before they were ever associated with the joe. But add in the mood music, and you’ll get a couple of tears out of me every time.

Each commercial starts and finishes with a steaming cup of what can’t possibly be coffee, since supposedly this isn’t a coffee ad… so, any guesses on the identity of that dark-brown, hot liquid that I know smells so, so good and that I want to just snatch out of the screen? (Does it say “drink me” in a swirling steaminess of subliminal messaging?)

You can watch all six ads on the company’s Brew Some Good website. But no need to wean yourself from optimism breaks after that. On the site, ordinary people are encouraged to upload and share their own optimism, in the form of personal photos, stories and videos. Other visitors can rate these submissions according to whether they perk them up (Ha ha, get it? “Perk”? I’d ROFL, but I haven’t vaccuumed in a while).

No discrimination either. Coffee fiends and tea drinkers alike can stop by. Ah, I can see I’ll have some fun here…

How Goes the Mo’?

It’s almost the end of November, and a good day to check in on the boys and their whiskers. A couple of weeks ago I posted pics of friends who were kind enough (or brave enough?) to submit images of their starter ’staches, which they’re cultivating for a cancer cure.

If you haven’t already donated to Movember, a funky fundraiser and awareness-raiser, you still have time. All participants who are growing a moustache for the cause are accepting donations until the end of this month. The money goes to Prostate Cancer Canada to help the one in six Canadian men who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Not a bad reason to wear a crumb catcher for a month.

To put you in the Movember mood, I include here a few more photos of the men I know who have been growing a fuzzy lip for charity. You can also watch the antics of my nephew and his moustachio’d buddies in this special video, which they compiled for the occasion. My favourite take-away line: “If you can afford to party, you can afford to donate to prostate cancer research.” Well said, young friend.

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Tim: It's worth checking out his fundraising page just for the funny comments from his friends.

Peter: His ’stache is stylish, and his fundraising page is

Clarke: Joined a fundraising team for mo'-ral support.

Moustache: The Right Move for Movember

Does the world really need mo’ moustaches? Well, at the very least we need mo’ prostate cancer research. And that’s why we need Movember.

Movember is a month-long event in which men formerly known as clean-shaven grow moustaches to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer research. It actually started as a joke over beers – of course it did – but now Movember is an annual fundraiser in ten countries around the world.

Over here, the money raised goes to Prostate Cancer Canada. According to this agency’s stats, one in six men in this country will learn they have prostate cancer, and 4,400 will die of it this year alone. Awareness and medical breakthroughs are desperately needed.

Men aren’t known for having in-depth conversations about their prostates, so I think attaching this important health issue to a facial hair contest is actually not a bad way to get attention.

Four people I know have already declared their commitment to a handlebar, a fu manchu, a pencil or some other oh-so-fashionable ‘stache. I’ve posted a couple of their starter pics below. I’m holding out for follow-up photos in full moustache by month’s end.

Every Movember participant has his own space on the website. Visit to search for your own hairy friends and sponsor their efforts. Remember, it’s like it says on the website: Every moustache makes a difference. Now haven’t you waited your whole life for a catchy tagline like that?

According to Alex, growing a moustache is a choice, getting prostate cancer is not. Visit his fundraising page at

What’s your mo’-tivation? Tim: “I'm doing the Movember thing because my Dad had prostate cancer last year.” His fundraising page can be found here: