Mick Ebeling isn't your standard marketer. He doesn't run an agency. He hasn't worked inside a Fortune 500 brand. And yet, in 2014, he was honored by pretty much every major advertising awards show out there. How does that happen?
Well, it starts by approaching the world in a fundamentally different way -- and deciding that no challenge is insurmountable. Ebeling built this belief into the very foundation of his organization, Not Impossible, the mission of which is to develop creative solutions to real-world problems -- then, in partnership with brands, produce media to ensure those solutions take flight.
"I'm proud that the advertising and marketing community has recognized the work of Not Impossible not just as an altruistic or a CSR initiative, but as great marketing that is both substantial and significant," Ebeling says. Indeed, Ebeling has the power to inspire the people he meets to want to be both better people and better marketers. (Want proof? Check out his closing presentation at the iMedia Brand Summit this past September.)
Not Impossible's latest endeavor, Project Daniel, is the subject of Intel's latest "Look Inside" campaign. For Project Daniel, Ebeling flew to Sudan to 3-D-print and fit prosthetic limbs for children of the war-torn region, then left the equipment behind with locals he'd trained who continued the work after he left, thus establishing the world's first 3-D printing prosthetic lab and training facility. Time Magazine said of Project Daniel, "It's hard to imagine any other device doing more to make the world a better place."
The project and campaign hit global prominence almost immediately after launch. It hit 420 million earned media impressions in 14 weeks (before any paid media), and topped 800 million a short four months after that.
Project Daniel took home five Cannes Lions, including the Titanium Lion and a Gold Lion for product design. Additionally, the project and campaign won Best of Show and received two Golden Pencils from The One Show, the Curator's Recognition and Next Cause Marketing nods from the AICP Next Awards, Silver and Bronze Telly Awards, and Silver and Bronze Clios. "The awards and acknowledgement have been fantastic, but the trackable and quantifiable data proving that 'doing good is good branding' has been the lynch pin to all the incredible Not Impossible campaigns launching with our brand partners in the next four to six months," Ebeling says.
Ebeling's Not Impossible endeavors came to prominence with the Eyewriter, a DIY, open-source, low-cost device that enables individuals with paralysis to communicate and create art using only the movements of their eyes. Among its many accolades, Time Magazine named the Eyewriter one of the "Top 50 Inventions of 2010," and the device is part of MoMA's permanent collection.
Driven to help many by telling compelling stories of extraordinary individuals, Not Impossible continues to create campaigns for brands centered on Not Impossible initiatives that create revolutionary and remarkable inventions for the world. Consequently, Ebeling is an international speaker on the subjects of revolutionary marketing and open-source medical devices (CES, Seoul Digital Forum, GE, Microsoft, Genentech, etc.). He is a TED alumnus, listed as a USA Network Top 10 Cultural Trailblazer, and most recently was honored as the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year.