The Ad Council and Matthew McConaughey Want to Help You Contribute to Hurricane Harvey Relief

Austin's GSD&M handled creative

The campaign includes broadcast, digital, radio, print and out of home placements.
AD Council

Hurricane Harvey has dominated the news, as viewers around the world have watched its winds and record-breaking rainfall devastate southern Texas.

Since making landfall last Friday, Harvey has killed at least 47 people and displaced thousands more. Estimates of its ultimate cost have run into the hundreds of billions, even as the biggest storm to hit the U.S. in more than a decade remains active.

Many Americans have donated and shared information on how best to help out via social media, and today, the ad industry made its own formal effort with a PSA campaign from the Ad Council.

The first video, created by Free Range Studios, directs viewers to, an online resource center created by several organizations partnering with the Ad Council.

The key message is that monetary donations are the best way to help storm victims because cash, unlike packaged goods, can quickly reach the most affected areas. The flexibility of money also allows it to be applied wherever it’s needed.

For the second video ad, Omnicom’s Austin, Texas-based GSD&M enlisted the vocal talents of actor and fellow Austin resident Matthew McConaughey. The True Detective star invokes state pride while reapplying the agency’s own classic antilittering tagline, “Don’t mess with Texas,” created in 1985 for the Texas Department of Transportation.

Several organizations beyond GSD&M and Free Range contributed to the collaborative pro-bono effort, which will run in broadcast, digital, print and radio via donated time and space.

Cloud tech platform Extreme Reach handled digital distribution, commercial radio production house Studio Center placed the radio spots and Spot Media got the ads in print. Postproduction company Laser Video edited the TV work for free. The National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau will also promote the work among their members via websites, events, newsletters and social media.

The project is the result of a partnership between the Ad Council, USAID and the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI). The ongoing collaboration was designed to help raise funds during times of crisis.

“When we see the suffering caused by a storm of this magnitude, we are all moved to lend a hand,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “The most effective way people can help is through financial donations to the amazing organizations that are providing aid and support on the front lines.”

“GSD&M is proud to support disaster relief efforts and help however we can in times of national emergencies,” added agency CEO Duff Stewart. “Hurricane Harvey has caused massive devastation along the Gulf Coast and in times like these community means more than ever. We stand with all of the victims impacted by the catastrophe and will do whatever we can to help.”


Agency: GSD&M, Free Range Studios, Red Face
Client: Ad Council/Hurricane Harvey Relief
Campaign: “Texas Strong,” “Hard at Work”

“Texas Strong”
Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell
Group Creative Director/Art Director: Brent Ladd
Creative Director/Writer: Brett Baker
Design Director: Marc Ferrino
Digital Retoucher: Daniel Rodriguez
Director of Production: Jack Epsteen
Account Service: David Rockwood
Business Affairs Manager: Lindsay Wakabayashi

Video and Web Prod Company: Charlie Uniform Tango
VFX Artist: David Hannah
3D Artist: Connor Adams
Audio Engineer: Nick Patronella
Senior Producer: Keith Munley
Render Wrangler: Jeff Harrell

“Hard at Work”
Creative Agency: Free Range Studios
Executive Producer: Erica Priggen
Director: Eric Smith
Director of Photography: Eriq Wities
Associate Producer: Juliet Unfried
Animation Director: Ruben DeLuna
Animator: Kevin Okulolo

Radio ads: RadioFace
Executive Creative Director, Copywriter: Tony Mennuto
Executive Producer: Vicky Ferraro
Casting Director: Carrie Faverty
Engineers: Justin Matley/Juan Aceves
Copywriter: Allen Gallehugh