Cohen-Led Group Looks to Divert Money From Arms to Schools
BOSTON-A radio ad now airing in Iowa and due to break in New Hampshire this week features the voice of Jack Shanahan, a retired vice admiral of the U.S. Navy.
The work is championed by Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, which is spearheaded by Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen.
Put simply, the organization seeks to reallocate 15 percent of the Pentagon's budget, about $40 billion, to education and healthcare.
In the spot, Shanahan says,"I believe we can improve education in America without compromising our national security."
"To illustrate my point, I have some BB's here. Imagine each BB is a nuclear bomb." One clink later, Shanahan continues: That "could destroy Hiroshima 15 times over." Five clinks "wipes out all of Russia. Now, after using those six bombs, this is how many the U.S. has left." Hundreds of BB's are heard raining down. Shanahan concludes: "By reducing our nuclear weapons, we could save billions of dollars. That money could be educating our kids. Let's get the politicians to talk about the real issues," he concludes.
Creative directors Dave Gardiner and Joe Berkeley at Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston created the radio and full- page newspaper ads that break this week. They are tagged, "Reduce Pentagon spending a little. Improve education a lot."
Gardiner credited the BB demonstration to Cohen, who often uses it to "demonstrate the lunacy of how government spends our tax dollars."
Gardiner also credited anti-smoking work created by Arnold Communications, Boston, in which former tobacco company insiders speak out against the industry that once hired them, as influencing his work.
"We felt the retired military officer lent great credibility to the cause," Gardiner said.
Star Media in Boston, which is helmed by Sally Stitt, is handling ad placement.