World’s Biggest Asshole for Donate Life

Donate Life America, an organ donation advocacy charity in the USA, is encouraging millennial men to become organ donors through “The World’s Biggest Asshole”, a humorous commercial starring obnoxious character Coleman F Sweeney. This low-life guy makes a point of looking out for himself and abusing others, acting in ways that ruin the lives around him. He gives small kids cigarettes, steals laundry and is mean to animals, children and people with disabilities. The short film’s twist comes with Sweeney’s death in his diner. The waitress discovers on his license that for some reason he’s signed up as an organ donor. We go on to see the positive impact this decision has on the lives on deserving people. “Even an asshole can save a life”.

The World's Biggest Asshole mural associated with Donate Life commercial

The World’s Biggest Asshole campaign was launched by The Martin Agency with a wake for Coleman F Sweeney at The Broadberry, a music and special events venue in Richmond, Virginia. Duncan Robertson painted a mural on the outside wall of The Broadberry featuring The World’s Biggest Asshole in a pink dressing gown he’d stolen from the laundry.

The strategy behind the campaign is to reframe a conversation most people want to ignore in order to motivate people to sign up to become an organ donor. Donate Life has seen a drop in millennials signing the paperwork to agree to be an organ donor in recent years. According to the organization, 120,000 men, women & children are awaiting organ donation in the U.S. right now. The campaign is designed to act as a wakeup call that will reinforce how easy saving a life can be, while pointing out that almost anyone can do it — even a total jerk.

“I think everyone knew it was the right way to talk to this group. The realization was that while I might not agree with the language in this, I’m not the target and therefore I can get over it,” said Wade Alger, creative director at The Martin Agency

The Martin Agency first got involved with Donate Life through managing director, account management, Chris Mumford. Mumford developed a personal relationship with the organization after his brother passed in 2008 after suffering a massive heart attack.

“After a few months on an artificial heart, he received a heart transplant. Unfortunately, he died unexpectedly shortly after his transplant. But the prospects of a transplant gave my brother and all of us hope … and ultimately allowed us an extra six months with him. We are forever grateful for the opportunity we were given by his donor,” Mumford said.

World’s Biggest Asshole Credits

The World’s Biggest Asshole campaign was developed at The Martin Agency by chief creative officer Joe Alexander, group creative director Wade Alger, associate creative director David Vogeleer, creative director Brig White, copywriter Miranda Morgan, designer Will Godwin, senior digital producer Jill McGrath, broadcast producer Steve Humble, managing director, account management Chris Mumford, account director Audyn O’Rourke, account executives Cori Kaylor and Carter Crenshaw, production business manager Karen Taylor, group project management supervisor Danielle Cin.

Filming was shot by directors Speck/Gordon via Furlined with executive producer Diane McArter, senior executive producer David Thorne, executive producer Jay Wakefield, line producer Greg Schultz, director of photography Jeff Cutter, production designer Andrew Reznik.

Editor was Graham Turner at Cut + Run with executive producer Carr Schilling.

Post production was done at The Mill by colourist Adam Scott, executive colour producer Thatcher Peterson, lead Flame artist Robin McGloin, additional 2D artist Don Kim, VFX producer Jordan Sharon, VFX supervisor Tim Davies, production coordinator Pat DeVaney.

Sound was designed at Lime Studios by sound designer Jeff Malen and executive producer Susie Boyajan.

Music, “Fix You”, composed by Coldplay and performed by Civil Brother, was produced at Duotone Audio Group by arrangers Ross Hopman and Jordan Lieb, managing director David Leinheardt, executive creative directors Jack Livesay and Peter Nashel, executive producer Ross Hopman, and producer Giovanni Lobato.

Coleman Sweeney is played by Thomas Jane. Sarah the waitress, host of the YouTube video, is played by Lyndsy Fonseca. The voiceover is by Will Arnett.