This is what effective advertising looks like: Hapa Sushi ad campaign by TDA.

Via elephant journal
on Mar 18, 2009
get elephant's newsletter

gay rights ad tda

Folks got it all wrong. People think they don’t like ads, or commercials, but that ain’t the truth. We just don’t like most ads and commercials. Some ads, however, are evocative, iconic, simple (like Absolut, Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Prana). Some are over the top crazy (the best Super Bowl ads). And some are…funny. These are ads we love, ads we actually want to look at, and aren’t just a waste of paper, pixels or a chance to run to the kitchen between segments on the Daily Show or Seinfeld.

TDA Advertising & Design—which created our Gay Rights cover a good year or so before the tragic backstep that is Prop 8 passed—has long been the snark and style behind Hapa Sushi—every one of their hundreds of ads has caught my eye, and often sparked a grin. Here’s a sampling:

[galleria thumb_w=120 thumb_h=90 thumbnail=”bottom” navigation=’none’ ]



Creative Statement, via TDA:

We are  grateful for the many years we have worked with Hapa. It gave us a start in the restaurant world. The work got us on the radar of, and then hired by, Chipotle. After riding with them through a very successful IPO we got kicked out the door by Chipotle,  but that  work got us hired a year ago by Pizza Inn which has been awesome. So we owe a lot to the Hapa relationship. Mark has been a pleasure to work with as a client and I consider him a good friend.

A look back at our Gay Rights cover by TDA:


We sent five mindful ideas to world-class advertising and design agency TDA, based in Boulder, Colorado. And then, we thought of doing a cover on Gay Rights—which, while having nothing to do with yoga organics sustainability conscious consumerism Buddhadharma contemplative art ecofashion did have plenty to do with active citizenry, one of our 15 areas of focus. And, to their credit, TDA jumped at the challenge. It’s our first serious cover. It’s a statement, thanks to their imaginative design: that our generation, limited not by age but rather defined by compassion and respect, will not stand for any portion of our population to be stripped of their basic American (human) rights. “Gay marriage is not even a question if you have a sense of decency and respect for fellow Americans who
are gay. You would think that there are enough politicians in high places with gay children that we would not have to wait
any longer for gay marriage to become a reality (if only the Vice President of the United States had a lesbian daughter!)”
Will Geddes, an art director at the agency, designed this cover and is happy to officiate your gay wedding.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


11 Responses to “This is what effective advertising looks like: Hapa Sushi ad campaign by TDA.”

  1. […] in a series of unpaid-for “This is what effective advertising looks like.” Click here for the first, lol hahah series, via TDA & Hapa Sushi. Effective advertising speaks to the spirit of a thing. It’s funny, or meaningful. It’s […]

  2. […] other day, I posted my second article in a series on “This is what Effective Advertising Looks Like.” In it, I talked about how prAna, […]

  3. […] Fourth in a Series: This is What Effective Advertising Looks Like. […]

  4. […] talked this over with my buddy, techpreneur Dave Rogers yesterday at Hapa Sushi (all the while watching him do little things like make sure his wrongly-ordered sushi […]

  5. […] House, half a block away, or Chipotle if in a rush (healthy, cheap, ecoish), or sitting outside at Hapa Sushi for “the Pearl St. Mall” experience. I also love Burnt Toast, on the University Hill […]

  6. […] night, on my way to a cool Manhattan-worthy sushi joint (Hapa) with my hip buddy LC, past a bunch of college bars and trendy joints worthy of Aspen, past […]

  7. […] advertisers on board. Until then, it’ll be Chipotle, Burnt Toast, Mountain Sun, Sunflower, Hapa—all of whom either support elephant and/or are eminently affordable, and to some degree or other […]

  8. […] lovely as she is tasteful (which is key when it comes to AA’s notoriously provocative ads). Seventh in a series of “This is what Effective Advertising Looks […]

  9. […] too much—this is meant to be fun, a way to bring our bountiful “green” and “progressive” restaurant community some attention, and a way to let new, would-be patrons and longtime […]

  10. […] This is What Effective Advertising Looks Like, Number Eight: Hutchinson. […]

  11. […] the way they treat me as a consumer. Advertising may not be a beautiful idea to begin with, but its standard of quality and intelligence seems to be […]