BE&P, DiMassimo Bridge Red, Blue Politics

CHICAGO Independent agencies Barkley Evergreen & Partners and DiMassimo Advertising have teamed up in an attempt to bridge the divide between people with opposing political views in the country.

Red Blue Project is a new public service program that attempts to discourage sociopolitical stereotypes based on political affiliation, said Brian Brooker, chief creative officer of BE&P in Kansas City, Mo. The idea came from agency senior copywriter Phil Gable, who expressed his frustrations with the current political climate to Brooker.

“I’m always challenging creatives to make the most of every assignment. In this case, he created the assignment,” Brooker said. “The time is right for an idea like this. The country is very divided and people tend to see things only from their point of view.”

The initiative premieres this week with television spots intended to air as public service announcements. The spots, which were created by BE&P, are meant to ridicule the way people of different political leanings view each other. In one spot about abortion, one person who says he’s pro-life then asserts he’s “anti-choice.” “Women don’t need to be making choices about anything,” he says. A counterpoint from a pro-choice woman says that means she’s “anti-life.” “The fact that I’m breathing right now makes me very upset,” she says.

Other television spots follow a similar vein, covering topics such as gun control, gay marriage and other issues. The spots direct viewers to a Web site, www.redblueproject.org, which was designed by DiMassimo of New York.

“One of the ideals that we share with Barkley Evergreen & Partners is that advertising agencies have a duty to use their powers for good,” said DiMassimo creative director Mark DiMassimo in a statement. “We love what we do for our clients every day. But we also want to bring those skills to bear on some issues that are bigger than advertising.”