Atlanta native and Award-winning funny man Jeff Foxworthy may be the only one who can make us smile while fighting to fund a cure for childhood cancer, and that’s precisely why CURE Childhood Cancer is using him to spearhead its new marketing campaign.
Jeff Foxworthy has made a household name for himself by making fun of his Southern redneck roots. Whether he’s hosting the hit quiz show Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader, or writing the best-selling You Might Be A Redneck If series of books, Foxworthy’s always good for a laugh. Until now.
“There’s nothing funny about the fact that less than two percent of all federal funding for cancer research goes to solving childhood cancer,” says Foxworthy. “When CURE Childhood Cancer asked if I’d be interested in helping raise funds to find a cure for children’s cancer, I was all for it. Two percent just ain’t getting’ it done, folks,” laments Foxworthy.
The campaign features an online video, two television spots and five :60 radio spots. Foxworthy takes a serious tone in the online video and tv spots, opening with “I never went to med school but today I’m helping to cure childhood cancer,” and closes with, “I’m Jeff Foxworthy, and I’ve never been more serious in my life.” He spotlights a harsh reality in another psa: “Major pharmaceutical companies are making drugs for adult cancers, not for kids’ cancers. That’s sad.”
Foxworthy is the best-selling comedic recording artist of all time, and has appeared on the The Late Show with David Letterman and the Tonight Show. But, there is not a touch of Hollywood in any of the public service announcements. In fact, Foxworthy employs no special production elements, downloadable music or snappy sound bytes to make listeners aware of the seriousness of childhood cancer and the importance of CURE’s work in funding research.
He doesn’t miss a chance to slip in some comic relief now and then in the radio spots. The five spots entitled “Bullies”; “Dreams”; “Redneck”; T-Shirt”, and “Winnie The Pooh” poke a little fun while dealing with this very serious topic. In one spot, he tells us what makes him laugh, like seeing a guy all by himself wearing a t-shirt that reads, ‘I’m with stupid’. In another, Foxworthy relays a true story about a bully in grammar school who repeatedly stole his sandwich. Tired of going hungry, Foxworthy outwitted his tormentor by creating a caterpillar sandwich of which the boy took a big bite. Case solved.
“Most of us have stories like that one and, as a child, we also have dreams about growing up,” notes Foxworthy. “But kids with cancer are afraid to dream; cancer is taking away their hopes, dreams and all too often a fighting chance for a future.”
“It’s up to us to fight their fight and fund the research here in Atlanta where CURE works directly with our world-class doctors and scientists,” says Foxworthy. He and his wife and two daughters reside in Alpharetta.
Indeed, Jeff Foxworthy may be the one guy who can get us to smile in the face of childhood cancer, while pleading for us to join forces to eradicate pediatric cancer in our lifetime.
Now that’s one stand-up comedian.