Human Interest Films has produced the third video in its ongoing “Real Stories” series for the Ad Council. The latest video tells the story of a Michigan mother, Cathrine Karow, and the powerful impact an Ad Council PSA had on her life. In the video, she recalls that during her pregnancy she saw an Autism Speaks PSA featuring Toni Braxton. Later, when she became aware of developmental delays during her son’s first year, she remembered the PSA. “The autism PSA actually kind of kept popping up in my head, but I don’t think I wanted to hear that diagnosis. So I was looking for it to be anything else,” she recalls. “At the end of the PSA they say to look up the signs of autism. And when I finally did, it was like this moment when I felt the world crashing down on me, because it described my son perfectly.” As a result of learning her son’s diagnosis early, Karow was able to get early intensive intervention for her son, widely considered to be the best treatment for autism. Today he is showing tremendous improvement. “I’m very grateful that I saw that PSA, and that I saw it when I did,” she says.
The leading producer of public service campaigns in the country, Ad Council has been responsible for characters like Smokey the Bear and memorable phrases like “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” and “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” We are honored that when it comes to telling their own story, Ad Council has turned to Human Interest Films, Inc. Cathrine’s story is the third in a series of short films we are producing profiling individuals who have been impacted in a powerful way by Ad Council campaigns. The other videos tell the stories of an Iraq war veteran whose life was transformed after a chance late-night encounter with television PSA and a Tennessee tornado survivor who made it through the disaster that destroyed her home thanks to preparations she made after being inspired by an emergency preparedness billboard.