Ad of the Day: Legacy

The Butler Bros. and Psyop magnify the focus on an unlikely source of toxic waste

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Attention smokers. You're not just destroying yourselves. You might also be destroying the planet.

As Earth Day 2013 has again reminded us, environmental advertising is often not as engaging as it should be. (Seen anything noteworthy today beyond the Google doodle?) But The Butler Bros. and Psyop do a fine job here of dramatizing an issue that likewise doesn't get the expert treatment it deserves. Flicking a cigarette butt into nature doesn't just cause wildfires—the toxic chemicals and carcinogens leach into soil, are poisonous to wildlife, and threaten to contaminate water sources. In fact, cigarette butts are the No. 1 item found on beaches and waterways worldwide and the most-littered item on U.S. roadways, according to Legacy (aka, the American Legacy Foundation).

The micro-to-macro transformation on display in the ad is, first and foremost, eye-catching. But it also nicely serves as a metaphor for the problem—seemingly insignificant, but in truth much larger than you might realize. (You're also not likely to soon forget the URL,, if your workplace server hasn't fearfully and pre-emptively blocked it.)

Listen to the 60-second radio spot on the Butler website.


Client: Legacy

Agency: The Butler Bros., Austin, Texas

Creative Directors: Marty Butler / Adam Butler

Writers: Ronny Northrup / Adam Butler

Spanish Translation: Rima, Gabriela Rives

Art Directors: Marty Butler / Ronny Northrop

Producer: Tim Willison

Spanish Language Producer: Myra Spector

Director: Psyop

Executive Producer: Luisa Murray

Producer: Minh Ly

Creative Director: David Chontos

Designer: Lilit Hayrapetyan

Matte Painter: Andrew Park

Lead Flame: Kim Stevenson

Compostior: Jonathan Iwata

3D Lead: Stephen Delalla

Modelers: Brianne Meyer, Kevin Manning, Danka Chiang

Animator: Victor Garza

Lighters: Stephen Delalla, Jonathan Iwata

GFX: Jason Mortimer

Sound Design Company: ESR Studios

Sound Designer: Eric Ryan

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.