PALO ALTO, Calif. (April 5, 2010) – Seattle-based filmmaker, Zeek Earl, has been awarded the Grand Prize in the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council’s Pause to Support A Cause public service advertising contest, which was powered by Zooppa, a global social media network of nearly 60,000 creative enthusiasts developing people-inspired brand marketing and non-profit campaign concepts.

The young, up-and-coming director developed a 30-second television spot focused on a key premise of the Pause to Support a Cause campaign, namely that anyone can take a few moments of time from their day to support a worthy cause. “Pause Your Life” was one of over 300 entries to the contest supporting the milestone CMO Council program  (, which raises funds for non-profits based on public participation in online market research.

For every survey completed, companies donate dollars in the participant’s name to their charity of choice. Hundreds of non-profits are participating, including the American Red Cross, Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Malaria No More, Feed the Children, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation,, American Kidney Fund and the Humane Society of the United States.

The contest tapped the talents and innovative thinking of Zooppa’s international online community of independent and "wannabe" creative professionals and students. It gave entrants the opportunity to showcase their creative skills in front of a jury of marketing and social media leaders like Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chief Marketing Officer of Eastman Kodak Company; Eric Lent, Vice President Marketing Excellence of The Hershey Company; and Kristen O'Hara, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Time Warner Digital Media Group.

"I loved [this video]," said judge Chris Stephenson, CMO of the Interscope/Geffen/A&M Universal Music record label. "It was smart, engaging and clear. I knew exactly what to do and it had a direct call to action, 'Now!'"

The grand prize is a trip for two to Africa to document the deeds of the Freeplay Foundation, a favorite charity of actor Tom Hanks. The contest recognized the best category submissions across print, Internet banner display and video commercial spots. This collection of multi-media executions will now promote the Pause to Support a Cause program via public service messaging across participating print and electronic media channels.  The CMO Council is currently partnering with media outlets interested in joining the coalition of brand leaders who are supporters of the cause-marketing initiative.

"Pause to Support a Cause is a program that will rely on word of mouth and social media and passionate communities that will band together to find new ways to give and engage," said Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. "This process of creative development through a community of independent, committed creative talent was the ideal think-tank for how to communicate this opportunity to consumers through inventive, creative and stimulating messages."

Zooppa CEO Wil Merritt said he was heartened by the volume and quality of contest entries they received for a public service campaign. "This contest was unusual in that there was no financial incentive, apart from the trip to Africa and some computer equipment," Merritt said. "What we saw was a creative community rising to the occasion in support of an important cause."

The CMO Council estimates that the Pause for a Cause campaign could divert as much as $2 billion per year from funds that corporations typically spend on market research into non-profits. For media outlets, online and offline, who are interested in getting involved in this program, the CMO Council has created a portal to access creative assets and information about the program.

A complete list of winners, along with previews of their submissions can be seen at

About the CMO Council
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council's 5,000 members control more than $125 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include over 12,000 global executives across 100 countries in multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The Council's strategic interest groups include the GeoBranding Center, Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board,, Online Marketing Performance Institute, and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME).

Zooppa is the world's largest source of user-generated advertising. With a creative community of nearly 60,000 people, Zooppa offers brands and ad agencies innovative model for producing cost-effective advertising content, volumes of creative ideas and authentic consumer perception feedback. For more information about Zooppa, contact Wil Merritt, CEO, at or (206) 623-1587.