Advertising Week


Advertising Week 10th Anniversary Official Guide

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 181 of 333

180 CATALYST The first thing I remember is being surprised at my own reaction to the film. Just like most Americans, when given only the skeleton image, my mind filled in the blanks of who each couple would be: they're probably white, they're probably heterosexual, they're probably in their 20s, 30s or 40s. And yet, that's not what real, American couples look like. We're a country of vast diversity; it was about time we authentically reflected and celebrated that diversity on film, and our agency R/ GA did so in a way that was so moving, so inspiring that it took my breath away. Of course, the second moment I remember was the first time we shared the video with the world. What launched on Upworthy and was promoted by our six original brand partners, seemed to take off in a matter of minutes. I couldn't stop hitting refresh on the video and watching the numbers climb. There were 11 million views that next morning, 40 million in two days, and more than 165 million today. Thanks to the brilliant team at R/GA, we'd found a way to tap into the cultural zeitgeist and learned just how hungry au- diences were for content that could bring us together. The reaction was exhilarat- ing, shocking, and inspiring, and left us wondering… where do we go from here? When it's time to iterate, identify your core concept and be consistent We've all been there—you have a success, pause for a moment to celebrate—and then you have to figure out what's next. Once an audience is hooked, you can't leave them hanging. But how do you replicate lightning in a bottle? For us, step one was identifying the core concept for the campaign. Love Has No Labels did, and continues to, highlight implicit bias by defying the audience's assumptions. The element of surprise was critical, but the tone had to be carefully threaded—we couldn't wave a finger and condemn people or we would lose them. So, in each piece of content we've released since then, we aim to inspire people and to continue to get them to the point of self-discovery where they ques- tion their own assumptions. We also found other elements that worked—like featur- ing real, emotionally-driven stories and people—so you'll continue to see some of these hallmarks across the work we do. Once you've rallied the base, find ways to expand your circle At this point, there's no deny- ing the existence of bubbles in America. And with this campaign, it would have been all too easy to stay within our own echo chamber. We'd get nothing but posi- tive feedback and accolades, but wouldn't have accomplished much. So for our first follow-up piece, R/GA created a direct-to-camera monologue about what it means to be patriotic today. We know that the messenger is critical when it comes to making a point that sticks, so when it came to casting a spokesperson, a lot of big names were tossed around, people who were gay, or non-Caucasian or had a disability. But R/GA was brilliant in suggest- ing that we enlist WWE Superstar and iconic tough-guy John Cena. Having our campaign appear as an authentic proc- lamation from a star they identified with allowed us to not only reach, but engage, a new audience in our messaging around bias and diversity. And this past January, we worked with the NFL on a live event activation at the Pro Bowl in Orlando, capturing real couples, families and friends embracing on the fan/kiss cam to an overwhelmingly warm and welcoming reception from the crowd. The film launched on Valentine's Day and it has been embraced by audiences, with over 38 million views so far. All boats rise, so get more voices involved Importantly, our corporate partners, including Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, Google, PepsiCo, P&G, Unilever, State Farm®, Wells Fargo, Google and Johnson & Johnson, are not just funders—they're activation partners. They've extended our Love Has No Labels content across their social channels and conducted their own activations to engage their employees and audiences. And thanks to our amazing partners, the campaign has been activated at internal and external events—Pride parades, con- ferences and festivals—across the country. And really, we're still just getting started. While there's no one formula for creating and continuing success, these tips help us ensure that we stay on the right path, and sustain that special bit of Love Has No Labels magic that continues to inspire and engage so many. At the end of the day, it will always come down to authenticity, emotion and a certain cultural relevance. There will always be new stories to tell, there will al- ways be new ways to surprise audiences, there will always be work to be done and, most of all, love will always win. • 1 2 3

Articles in this issue

view archives of Advertising Week - AWNewYork_OfficialGuide-2017