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Top 6: January 15th 2014

Bawx: Two agencies combine efforts to benefit kids’ imaginations and charities.

Top 6: January 15th 2014
Independent advertising agencies Barton F. Graf 9000, New York, and TDA Boulder, partnered to benefit children’s charities Blue Sky Bridge, Boulder, (focused on child abuse) and the Charley Davidson Leukemia Fund, Boston. The two agencies created a non-profit, kids’ toy (* big asterisk) business, Bawx, whose sole product is a big, plain, heavy-duty, 2-foot cubed, 100% recycled empty cardboard box. It is partly a toy (the website claims it can be a kid's submarine, foreign planet, robot, recording studio, mansion), and it is partly a bit of anti-consumerism/high-tech-gadgetry propaganda. Batteries are not required. Imagination is. Bawx is sold online at (site designed and run by the two agencies), where it is offered in four "models," that are all, upon inspection, identical. The marketing language is intentionally stupid. Each model's listed features are, "Horizontal," "Open end (close able)," "Natural light," and "Spacious entrance." Where the models differ is price, ranging from $24.99 to $499.99. Because all Bawx costs—materials and development will be borne by the two agencies, and all proceeds will go to the two charities, every purchase is an undiluted donation to two worthy causes. will operate year-round, not just pre-holiday.

Bawx reflects the shared beliefs of TDA_Boulder and Barton F. Graf 9000 principals Jonathan Schoenberg and Gerry Graf. As explained in Bawx's online manifesto, "Consumerism is a bit out of control these days. Kids would much rather spend time with their friends and parents and a Bawx, than the latest technology. Ok, that is a complete lie, but maybe if they did have a Bawx they would spend more time with people, and a bit less time with pixels."

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