An Agency That Walks Together ...

>> Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I bring this post to you from one of our very talented writers, Paul Schmidt. Hope this finds you well -- Jim.

Take it away Paul!

Stepping Up—and Standing Out with Acorda Therapeutics at the MS Walk

You’ve seen a lot of great work from Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness lately… in the press… on TV… at the awards shows… the doctor’s office… Twitter… print… YouTube… Facebook… Pretty much anywhere you can make wellness, well, better (“weller” if it were a word).

But on Saturday, May 17th, I saw something even better—in the wilderness, of all places. Something I hope to see, every day for the rest of my career: people from our agency, joining together and making a difference for a great cause.

It was a cold, misty Saturday morning with heavy fog blanketing the steep hillside of Bear Mountain. As my friend Jim and I pulled into the parking lot for the MS Walk, a flock of vultures (the non-human kind) circled above. I was asking myself: how many bears gave Bear Mountain its name?

Lots of people were wearing ponchos, some were even wearing ski pants and jackets. I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt, kicking myself for forgetting to bring an extra layer and an umbrella.

As we approached the Acorda Therapeutics’ I Walk booth everything seemed to suddenly warm up. I noticed that even though the weather could have been a lot nicer, the people around me couldn’t have been happier. Over a thousand people gathered on a cold, rainy morning, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, to take a 3 or 7 mile walk for all the right reasons. The goal was to help raise money to find a cure for multiple sclerosis.

The Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness Team raised more than $3,000 this year, but even more impressive was the idea behind the I Walk Because booth itself.

Here, participants could design and write their own tee-shirts with a quote, capture it via a digital photo booth and post it on a giant tv monitor for everyone else at the Walk to see. In addition, you could make a short team video stating why—or who you were walking for, and then post it on the website ( This is one of the most innovate, and personalized ways to let people to share their thoughts I’ve ever seen.

Walk highlights include a pristine view of Hessian Lake, crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge, and going through the wildlife zoo, where I kid you not, there were Bald eagles, fox, beavers, coyotes, beavers, rattlesnakes—and of course, bears.

There were more than 115 MS Walks nationwide this year. There were people from Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness at 15 of them. Although not every MS Walk offers this much scenery and wildlife, all of them offer the same spirit of hope.

I had the opportunity to walk in 3 of them this year, and each of them left me feeling inspired to do more.

On a final note, I’d like to point out how lucky we are to have such a unique opportunity to work at these events. Honestly, when you’re a part of something this special, it doesn’t feel like work. We have a client and an agency that are committed to doing more than just making a profit—they’re also committed to making a difference.

To see more of our stand-out work for Acorda Therapeutics, visit and

- Paul Schmidt, VP Copy Supervisor at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness


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