Gritty Droga5 Spots for the YMCA Show How it Transforms Communities

Powerful Campaign Depicts Deprived American Communities

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The YMCA aims to shift perceptions of its purpose with a gritty new campaign from Droga5, kicking off with two spots that focus on deprived American communities.

Both spots were shot in Baltimore by director Seb Edwards through Park Pictures, and feature casts of real people who live in the areas. "Idle Hands," seen here, was shot in Dundalk, a low-income suburb that lacks the third spaces and recreational activities that are vital for kids. The spot opens on its bleak streets, abandoned shopping malls, bored kids at home and gangs of roaming youths, but a voiceover goes on to explain how their "idle hands" can be put to good use, as we see the same young people taking part in science experiments at the Y.

"Places" was shot in West Baltimore, a neighborhood that suffers from extreme income inequality and is frequently in the news for its social unrest. Again, it opens with shots of boarded up houses and dilapidated streets, but then homes in on the vibrancy of the community and shows how they can benefit from the YMCA's facilities.

According to the agency, the campaign's objective is to shift perceptions of the Y from a "gym and swim," to a relevant, impactful nonprofit, and to help inspire people to donate and fund the work it does.

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Jan 25, 2016
Droga5 New York
Seb Edwards
Kevin Washington
EVP, Chief Strategy/Advancement Officer:
Kate Coleman
Production Company:
Park Pictures
VP Marketing Communications:
Donna Bembenek
Senior Director External Relations:
Ryu Mizuno
Creative Chairman:
David Droga
Chief Creative Officer:
Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director:
Kevin Brady
Creative Director:
Casey Rand
Creative Director:
Karen Land Short
Lincoln Boehm
Chief Creation Officer:
SallyAnn Dale
Head of Broadcast Production:
Ben Davies
Senior Producer:
Jennifer McKenzie
Global Chief Strategy Officer:
Jonny Bauer
Head of Strategy:
Chet Gulland
Strategy Director:
Elaine Purcell
Group Communication Strategy Director:
Duncan Owen
Senior Data Strategist:
Eric Raicovich
Group Account Director:
Matt Ahumada
Account Director:
Amanda Chandler
Account Manager:
Sara Fletcher
Project Manager:
Rayna Lucier
Production Company:
Park Pictures
Seb Edwards
Executive Producer:
Mary Ann Marino
Martha English
Rock Paper Scissors
Ted Guard
Assistant Editor:
JK Carrington
Executive Producer:
Eve Kornblum
Lisa Barnable
Post Production:
The Mill
Mile Pullan
Fergus McCall
Flame Artist:
Kieran Hanrahan
Benjamin Balcom
Hear City
Audio Engineer:
Keith Reynaud at Heard City

See more credits

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