Gettysburg Ads Break

“Ground cannot be both hallowed and paved” captures the sorry condition of the Civil War’s pivotal battlefield and serves as a rallying cry for its restoration in Work Inc.’s new print push for the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation.

The ad juxtaposes a period image of a field strewn with fallen soldiers with that of a tour bus driving over what has become a parking lot. It’s the first in a fundraising effort to preserve the Pennsylvania site and thousands of relics and historical texts deteriorating in the museum’s vaults.

Ads that target history buffs are appearing in June issues of periodicals such as Civil War Times and Blue & Gray. Direct mail and collateral materials are also part of the mix.

The multiyear capital campaign was launched last month with a fund raiser held aboard millionaire publisher Steve Forbes’ yacht. The budget was undisclosed.

“We are losing a great part of our history,” said Cabell Harris, the Richmond, Va., agency’s creative director. “Gettysburg was the turning point of the war.”

Another in the sepia-toned series of ads, brochures and posters superimposes a photo of the parking lot atop a period map of the battlefield. The headline: “The 136th New York Infantry lost 109 men just left of the red convertible.” Print ads provide details about the battle, which was fought from July 1-3, 1863.

Work’s efforts for another historic attraction, Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg restoration, helped win the account, Harris said.