Everybody's talking about Coleman Sweeney, Asshole.
I started to write about this new spot because I thought it was comedy.
Turns out, even though they say asshole over and over, it’s a beautiful story about redemption.
Not only is this a great advertising idea - anyone can become a hero by choosing to be an organ donor - they take it to the end of the line. They created an asshole. And they called him an asshole. Why is Coleman an asshole? "He was born to it." Beautiful.
Oh, it has all the hallmarks of comedy with a misguided, can't-help-himself, unstoppable comedic hero. Satisfying. Triggers my "thank-god-that's-not-me response.
Then he dies.
And suddenly it's drama. The noble, unknown world of a hero. Whose strengths or purpose in life are only revealed after his death.
The interesting thing is that the inciting incident of the story isn’t Coleman’s death, it’s his decision in the past to check the box for organ donation. And he lived his life as a secret hero.
We don't know why he checked that box but that's OK. I'm just as satisfied not knowing the reason as I am with not knowing why he's an asshole. Sometimes people are the way they are - inexplicable.
Kudos to the creatives and their agency (and their client) who understood that being preoccupied with likability is bullshit and for having the guts to bring Coleman Sweeney to life.
Also, in the youtube comments, a bunch of people wondered if he donated his actual asshole. Ah, assholes...