The Ad Council Exercises ‘Freedom’

WASHINGTON, D.C.The Ad Council on Wednesday will launch the third round of ads in its “Freedom” campaign to coincide with the July 4th holiday.

Graduate students at the Virginia Commonwealth University Adcenter did four new executions in the TV, print and radio public-service effort, which seeks to motivate Americans to protect their freedoms. That work was produced by Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.

In one 30-second spot, “Deaf Ears,” a voiceover asks, “So how do you express your freedom?” Various citizens respond, “I don’t vote,” and “Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I took up a cause.” The spot ultimately refers viewers to the www.explorefreedomUSA.org, where they can learn how to get more informed and involved.

In a second execution, “Ummm,” a voiceover asks what the biggest problem is in America today. While the respondents are all quick to name racism, homelessness and stem cell research, all admit they have done nothing to address such issues.

The tagline “Keep freedom strong. Exercise it.” closes each spot.

The first two campaigns were designed to get Americans to appreciate their freedoms; this latest wave of ads constitutes a call to action.

“This new work is compelling and thought-provoking and I believe that it will motivate Americans to become more informed and involved in their communities and their country,” said Ad Council president and CEO Peggy Conlon.

“Most of us should be at least a little ashamed of how little we do,” said Mike Hughes, president and chief creative officer of The Martin Agency. “This campaign points that out.”

More than 20,000 media outlets are expected to air the work. To date, the Freedom campaign has received more than $188 million in donated media.