Creativity

The Y Takes a Long Hard Look at a Divided America in a Powerfully Political Spot

Topical Ad by Droga5 Highlights the Power of Communities to Heal

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Sep 25, 2017

Editor's Pick

In the wake of Charlottesville, Trump's stand-off with the NFL and other recent events that reflect a divided America, a new campaign from the YMCA has powerful resonance.

The latest work from Droga5 for the organization takes a long hard look at the concept of "us" - i.e., America. The 90-second spot opens with a fluttering national flag and children reciting the pledge of allegiance at school, then features a montage of diverse communities and people coming together in positive ways (for example, a white man helps the black victim of a road accident).

But, the voiceover goes on to warn, "Right now, that bond is fraying." We hear the wailing of sirens and whirring of helicopters, see a child lying on her bed seemingly depressed by social media, witness angry arguing between people of different generations and schoolkids laughing at a young woman in Arab dress. "Where do we find common ground?" it asks, before going on to suggest that answer is the community feeling and power to heal that the YMCA fosters. "The Y fills the gap and bridges the divides," we are told, as we see people of different races, ethnicities and abilities taking part in different activities together.

Droga5's previous work for the Y has included one spot predicting a future female president and another highlighting America's deprived communities--but this one is the mostly starkly political yet.

"Us" is based on a key insight about the things people across the country are experiencing, from anxiety to social isolation, to a lack of empathy," says Valerie Barker Waller, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Y-USA. "We want the country to know that, among the daily struggles, the Y is there--to bring people together, to help find common ground and to address pressing social issues that so many communities are facing."

The TV spotc, airing on multiple broadcast networks including ABC, CBS and NBC, was directed by Malik Vitthal at The Corner Shop. The campaign also includes several radio spots, digital assets and social media content, all which feature kids, adults and families who are members of the Y.

Rate this Ad

You must be registered to rate this ad.
Please Login or Register Now

About

Credits

Date
Sep 25, 2017
Agency:
Droga5
Client:
YMCA
Creative Chairman:
David Droga
Chief Creative Officer:
Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director:
Kevin Brady
Group Creative Director:
Casey Rand
Group Creative Director:
Karen Short
Copywriter:
Gabe Sherman
Art Director:
Gage Young
Jr. Copywriter:
Patrick Newman
Jr. Art Director:
Sonja Johnson
Jr. Copywriter:
James Gross
Jr. Art Director:
Gianna D'Amico
Chief Creation Officer:
Sally-Ann Dale
Co-Director of Film Production:
Jesse Brihn
Co-Director of Film Production:
Bryan Litman
Producer:
Gabija Blake
Associate Producer:
Tony Xie
Music Supervisor:
Mike Ladman
Director of Business Affairs:
Jocelyn Howard
Integrated Business Affairs Manager:
Keith Marman
Associate Director of Interactive:
Justin Durazzo
Executive Producer, Interactive:
Tasha Cronin
Executive Producer, Experiential:
Bo Djogo
Producer, Interactive:
Aaron Matys
Director of Art Production:
Cliff Lewis
Art Producer:
Nichole Katsikas
Global Chief Strategy Officer:
Jonny Bauer
Co-Head of Strategy:
Colm Murphy
Strategy Director:
Jennifer Lange
Head of Communications Strategy:
Colleen Leddy
Senior Communications Strategist:
Hillary Fink
Communications Strategist:
Mark Longacre
Chief Intelligence Officer:
Amy Avery
Senior Data Strategist:
Brad Mumbrue
Junior Data Strategist:
Alexandra Grant
Head of Account Management:
Dan Gonda
Account Director:
Amanda Chandler
Account Manager:
Susannah Wherry
Project Manager:
Meredith Robinson
SVP, Chief Marketing Officer:
Valerie Waller
Creative Director:
Wendy Currie
Marketing Director:
Joi Freeman
Graphic Designer:
Yoshiki Araya
Video and Multimedia Producer:
Jeff Saunders
Communications Manager, Marketing Communications:
Dorothy Mora
Production Company:
Corner Shop
Director:
Malik Vitthal
Director of Photography:
Ashley Connor
Executive Producer:
Anna Hashmi
Producer:
Jennifer Duffy
Editorial:
Work Editorial
Editor:
Adam Robinson
Assistant Editor:
Theo Mercado
Executive Producer:
Erica Thompson
Producer:
Sari Resnick
Post Production:
Blacksmith
Executive Producer:
Charlotte Arnold
Producer:
Alexa Mauro
Lead 2D Artist:
Daniel Morris
2D Artist:
Steve Koenig
2D Artist:
Margolit Steiner
2D Artist:
Jay Lee
Color:
Company 3
Colorist:
Tom Poole
Producer:
Alexandra Lubrano
Music Composition:
Minbal
Composer:
Benjamin Balcom
Sound:
Sonic Union
Mixer:
Michael Marinelli
Radio Mix:
Paul Weiss
Producer:
Patrick Sullivan
Producer:
Justine Cortale
Photographer:
Landon Speers
Production Company:
Urban

The Creativity Newsletter

The Creativity newsletter is editorially curated to spotlight the work that’s hitting the mark—or missing it altogether. Sign up to have it sent to your inbox.