Actually, if you’re in advertising…don’t kill yourself

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Instead, redress your karmic balance by doing something amazing with your creativity. Something life-enhancing and world-changing. Like this fucking brilliant idea from Matt Dimmer, a creative director in Denver.

In autumn 2011, his dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He lived in Los Angeles at the time, and his dad lived in Michigan; he’d travel home about once a month to spend time with his dad in his final days. Throughout these trips he thought, “I wonder how many people are in this situation but aren’t here, because they don’t have a credit card to put those flights on? Your dad is dying and he tells you that you grew up to be the man that he had hoped. I just couldn’t imagine other people being denied that.”

He came up with the idea of collecting unused frequent flyer miles and distributing them to those who need help to visit their loved ones dying of cancer. Simple and beautifully compassionate, but not easy to set up. I imagine getting a decent ad out of the door is a piece of piss compared to the red tape and logistical brick walls involved with this. However, since he came up with The Extra Mile, Dimmer’s been a man on a mission, running around badgering his social network, investors, travel companies, charitable organisations – basically anyone and everyone who might be able to help. All while carrying on with his day job. He’s collected hundreds of thousands of unused miles and the idea is now up and running. His passion and determination are an inspiration.

Have a look at the website and, if you can, please donate your frequent flyer miles. But more importantly, have a think about ways you can enrich the world and make a difference with your creativity. I don’t believe in an afterlife but if there is one, you might even get a begrudging pat on the back from Bill Hicks.


About antmelder
Executive Creative Director at Host/Havas Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

2 Responses to Actually, if you’re in advertising…don’t kill yourself

  1. Darren Spencer says:

    Nice peice Ant. Great story. I’ve passed it on. Brilliant read over my morning coffee!

  2. antmelder says:

    Cheers Spence! Are you around at Xmas? I’m looking forward to catching up with you guys.

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