Kicking Cancer With the Rowdies

Do you remember the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when the marketplace crowd disperses and a large, imposing swordsman does a series of flashy moves before a weary and having-none-of-it Indiana Jones pulls out his pistol and shoots him? Ok, stay with me on this…

In my role as graphic designer for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, I’m fortunate to work for an organization with a mission that’s kind of tough not to get behind – the care and treatment of children and support for their families.

While my primary role is in graphic design, our department allows us the freedom to explore and utilize our other talents. It was such freedom that allowed me and our videographer Juan to brainstorm an idea to create a partnership video with the Tampa Bay Rowdies for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Juan is super-talented and had a basic framework in place. I came in with Indiana Jones. My idea was to utilize the spirit of that scene with our patient Vance facing off against one of the Rowdies’ players, which turned out to be Juan Guerra. Our department was on board and allowed us total creative freedom. The only catch? We had to concept, storyboard, write the script, film and edit in two weeks. Easy peasy.

As you can see in the video above, our team came through. This was shown at a late summer Rowdies match and led to a nice chunk of money donated to the hospital. I was thrilled to work with Juan on this project and thankful for the help of our marketing team and the clinical staff at the hospital for volunteering their time. Of course, the video doesn’t work without the Rowdies’ players, Guerra, Georgi Hristov and Keith Savage.

While I don’t necessarily recommend pitching a video idea about kids with cancer with Indiana Jones blowing away a bad guy, having a pop culture mindset does come in handy every now and then. It goes nowhere without a lot of other people on board lending their talents and it made me excited and proud to be a part of Kicking Cancer with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

No Show Campaign

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No babies were made to cry during the making of this campaign. Ok, one baby cried, but I can explain.

The No Show campaign was part of an initiative to make more families aware to call the hospital when they needed to cancel or reschedule, rather than just not showing up. By calling, it allows another family the opportunity to take that place and it leads to better scheduling and less lost time for clinical and support staff.

Our strategy was to create something  vibrant and clean with a simple and direct call to action, utilizing kids to tell the story, as we are a children’s hospital, while still maintaining our brand, which may be playful, but is not cartoon-y

I think for a rushed project, we really hit this one out of the park. The photography is crisp and the kids play directly off our headline copy. We were fortunate to utilize hospital staff kids for the photo shoot, which all took place within a few hours of one day. Backdrops were only accidentally torn down once, although silly string did end up all over the room.

Oh yeah, the crying baby.

That was kind of a happy accident, but because we had this project planned out so well, we were ready to capture a moment and add to our campaign. Our sad child was actually there to watch his sister (Can’t See Us?) but we decided to add him to the shoot. He was excited for his cookie and he was excited to run around the room. He was not excited to sit on the backdrop for  the actual photo though. My boss Neil captured the moment, however and Crunched For Time? was born!

His mom happily signed off on the photo.

Episode 11 – Random Questions Part 1

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All the questions you never knew you wanted asked. None of the responses you know you didn’t want answered.

We tinker with the formula on the latest episode of the So Bad It’s…podcast with a series of random questions about ninjas, the Six Million Dollar Man, how good a diplomat Godzilla would be, which Nintendo Ice Hockey player was the best, Dungeons & Dragons, and more. So much more, we’re making this a two-parter. You’re welcome!


Be sure to follow us on Twitter, where just when you think you’ve got the answer, we change the questions!

Episode 10 – President Gary Coleman

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Some episodes speak for themselves. This one doesn’t.

At the So Bad It’s… podcast, we sometimes like to just hit record and see what happens. This is one of those times. On this SoBadBit, Jon asks Pete who his favorite president is and we go from there to Gary Coleman, the Brady Bunch and of course Davy Jones.


Be sure to follow us on Twitter, where we are never not random in our tweets.

Episode 9 – Monkey Gotta Make a Dollar

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Short, sweet and scientifically proven funny. That’s the idea behind our new episode vignettes, a little something we’re calling So Bad It’s Bits, or just So Bad Bits. Our first So Bad Bit is called Monkey Gotta Make a Dollar. Why? If you give us five minutes of your time, you’ll find out. Come on, you know you’re interested now.


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, where we don’t make a dollar, but we do tweet for free. And for fun. Mostly for free.

Episode 7 – Trick-or-Treat Part 1

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Adorable, circa 1981

Halloween may very well be Jon and Pete’s favorite time of year, so it’s only fitting that our first annual 8th Halloween special episode be broken up into two parts. In this, part one, we talk about our early memories of trick-or-treating: cheap costumes, canvassing the local neighborhoods with friends to hit the houses with the best candy, and avoiding (or not) getting egged and shaving creamed on the way home after dark.

Can Pete fool his dad into giving him candy at the age of 12? Why was one flustered gentleman buttoning up his pants as he answered the door, only to throw a $5 bill at our intrepid trick-or-treaters while quickly closing the door? How does Jon’s King of Hearts costume stack up among the all-time embarrassments? The answers await your ears if you only listen to this episode!


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, where we hand out only the best Halloween candy. The best part? Every day.

Episode 6-Hulking Out

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Before Mark Ruffalo, Edward Norton, Eric Bana and a mixed bag of CGI, Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno – Lou and the Bix – WERE the Hulk. If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you may still have fond memories of this early Marvel live action foray, with it’s classic opening warning, “Mr. McGee, don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

On this incredible episode of the So Bad It’s… podcast, we are joined by Bernie Gonzalez, host of the Fan2Fan Podcast, to discuss the television version of the Incredible Hulk. Specifically, we delve into a pair of episodes that encapsulate all that was good – and hysterically bad – about this hit (it lasted 5 seasons) series.

‘The Final Round’ captures the budding romance between David Banner (Benson) and Rocky (played by favorite So Bad It’s… thespian, Mr. Martin Kove), as a loveable lug boxer who comes to Banner’s aid while jogging through the dangerous streets of Wilmington, Delaware. Emotions and passions run high as Rocky gets David a job at his local gym where heroin and haymakers are in equal supply.

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Where ya headed? Greenpoint?

In ‘Times Square Terror’ Banner makes the totally logical move to Manhattan to work in an arcade slinging quarters as one does when trying to cure oneself of a horrible anger-induced metamorphosis into a giant green monster. Before change machines could render his job obsolete, Banner eavesdrops on some mob-related shenanigans orchestrated by a mob boss named…Jason. This leads to a traffic-caused hulkout in a taxi and Lou Ferrigno running through Times Square/a back lot with cute green booties on. Classic Ferrigs!


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, where we rarely hulk out, but when we do, we do it in the gentlest possible way.

Episode 5 – Army Men

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P-choo! P-choo!

Such were the sound effects emanating from basements everywhere, courtesy of the mouths of many an 80’s kid as we enjoyed endless hours playing with those little green men of our youth, army men.

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“Hey, you wanna Netflix and chill tonight?”

Army men may not be de rigeur these days, and that’s certainly understandable, but for generations of kids – mostly boys – our collection of army men allowed some really creative world-building. Anyone who ever owned a bag or box of these 3-inch figures will instantly remember the handful of universal figures and their poses: The rifleman, the mortar guy, the bazooka guy, the flame thrower, the minesweeper, the ‘captain’ with a pistol and binoculars, the radioman, the soldier crawling on his stomach and the soldier hoisting a bayonet over his head. Sure there were a few others, but these were the A-listers. The A-Team, if you will.

On this episode of our So Bad It’s… podcast, we talk the little green men, reminisce about introducing ‘guest stars’ such as dinosaurs and Star Wars figures and break out our favorite sound effects from when we were kids. It’s in no way embarrassing.


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, where we often break out our favorite army man poses.

 

Episode 4 – The Ice Cream Man

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There used to be a time when you had to get creative to get your hands on some ice cream. None of this tweet at the Good Humor truck and it comes to your neighborhood nonsense.

In this episode of the Sobadcast, we get into that summertime groove as we discuss the excitement, anticipation, panic and fear of trying to race down the ice cream truck as it jingle-jangled its way through our suburban youth. From climbing trees to triangulate where the truck’s music was coming from, to booking it barefoot down hot asphalt streets, fresh from the pool with a dollar in hand, nothing else mattered but the satisfaction of seeing the ice cream man (or woman) slow down and extend the stop sign off the side of the truck.

We meet some interesting characters along the way. Vinnie the Pied Piper who was Bruce Lee-level masterful with the speed of his change belt and remembering every Little Leaguer’s favorite ice cream, to the totally not creepy Mister Softee driver that roamed our neighborhoods and became a staple of our summer youth.

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Some people will do anything to get Mr. Softee to stop.

For our fourth sprinkle-laden episode, we try to recall that single-minded focus to not only catch the ice cream truck, but begging our parents for a simple dollar with which to buy our soft-serve, jimmy cones, toasted almond bars, bomb pops, Marino’s Italian Ices, and yes even black market cherry bombs. But never that Chinese fortune gum. Screw that.


What was your favorite ice cream selection? Who was your favorite ice cream man (or woman)? Let us know on Twitter, where we hand out bomb pops every Tuesday at 6.

Episode 3 – Arcades

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Nothing caused sensory overload quite like an early 80s arcade. The sights, sounds, smells, beeps, bloops and knife fights (real or imagined) kept our 12-year-old selves humming along better than six bowls of Cap’n Crunch ever could.

Growing up in suburban Long Island, arcades and video games occupied a very real part of our lives. From standalone arcades like TimeOut! in the nearby Smith Haven Mall, to walls of flashing lights at local roller skating rink, Studio 25, or just a single standalone game at summer hotels and pizza parlors, we grew up amongst a weird world of strange games and stranger gamers.

Arcades may have come and gone, but judging by establishments like Williamsburg’s Barcade, they won’t soon be forgotten. Sorry hipsters, we were into it before it was cool.

80s-arcadeOn this, our third episode, we plunk our hard-earned quarters into the podcast to discuss arcades, the Star Wars cantina of adolescent adventure.

Special thanks to Andy Hofle for providing the arcade sounds we used at the end of this episode.


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, where we’ll even let you have next game.