Television Commercial Director Daniel Azarian Wins Two 2011 Telly Awards for Public Service Announcement to Save Killer Whale

Jun 20, 2011, 10:27 ET from Underdog Entertainment

NEW YORK, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Underdog Entertainment, a New York-based production company, today announces that Daniel Azarian, a rising director of television commercials and branded entertainment, has won two 2011 Telly Awards for the public service announcement (PSA), "Save Lolita," which raises awareness of the plight of Lolita the orca, who has been held captive for over 40 years in a small concrete pool.

The PSA claimed two Bronze Telly awards in the categories of Public Service and Non Profit.  It uses the same kind of emotional technique and tone, visually and musically, that promotes human causes like Save the Children, but closes with the added kicker that this victim is an orca. The PSA can be viewed at

Over forty years ago, herders violently took Lolita, now aged 45, from her family in Puget Sound and transferred her to a 20-foot-deep tank at the Miami Seaquarium. Only four times her size at its widest point, the tank appears to be illegally small under Department of Agriculture regulations.

"I wanted to appeal to people who might not understand how unethical Lolita's situation is by presenting her predicament through human eyes," explains director Azarian. "Research clearly shows that orcas are sentient, emotional, and highly intelligent beings who are aware of their surroundings. To see such a beautiful 22-foot creature in a tiny 35-foot-wide tank seems inhumane. I felt compelled to do something."

A proposed retirement plan for Lolita would place her in a transitional coastal sea pen sanctuary in her native waters, where she would be rehabilitated under human care, then given the choice to go back to open waters if it's deemed safe. Many organizations are willing to help implement it, but Seaquarium's owners have thus far rejected the idea.  To learn more, visit

Daniel Azarian has previously won three 2008 Telly Awards, including Telly's highest honor, the Silver Award, for his futuristic-themed cosmetic spot, "Bulletproof." Azarian has also directed and produced national spots for 3M's Scotch-Brite brand and Horizon Organic. Blue-chip telecommunications firms and entertainment networks have licensed Azarian's commercial spots for their U.S. and international mobile networks.

Underdog Entertainment ( is a New York-based production company active in producing commercial spots, public service announcements, branded and traditional entertainment and film.

Robert Michael
Underdog Entertainment

SOURCE Underdog Entertainment