BVK, United Way Ask Viewers to ‘Join The Fight’

By Erik Oster 

BVK launched a new PSA campaign for education, health and financial stability charity United Way, entitled “Join The Fight.”

A 60-second anthem ad doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of the issues United Way takes on.

“Problems: the ones most people don’t have the stomach for, the ones nobody talks about at cocktail parties,” the voiceover begins, over black and white footage of desolate, deserted cityscapes and scenes suggesting domestic violence, drug abuse and homelessness. “We go looking for them,” it continues, elaborating on the charity’s efforts to tackle such critical problems in “unforgiving cities, desolate towns and seemingly docile suburbs.”

It’s a bold, attention-grabbing approach and a distinct departure from United Way’s previous advertising — a world away from, say, Glee-fueled celebration of the charity’s success at increasing high school graduation rates. 

“We needed to help people understand what those problems were, not just show the aftermath of everything being clean and pretty,” United Way CMO Lisa Bowman explained to Adweek. “It’s about taking a hard, realistic look at what’s happening in our communities today and the work that United Way is encouraging people to join us in the fight against.”

“A lot of people know what United Way is, but don’t necessarily know what they do. United Way knew they needed to make something provocative and put the problems front and center to ask viewers to get involved in solving them,” added BVK executive creative director Brian Ganther.

Agency: BVK
Chief Creative Officer: Gary Mueller
Executive Creative Director/Copywriter: Brian Ganther
Group Creative Director/Art Director: Matt Herrmann
Art Director: Austin Kelley
Senior Producer: Jessica Farrell
VP, Account Director: Kevin Steltz
Senior Account Executive: Jamie Foley

Director: Andy Maser, Maser Films
Producer: Rachel Meyer, Maser Films
Photo Producer: Tara Trullinger, Get It Productions
DP: Christopher Gill
Editor: Chris Thompson, Good Credit Productions
Colorist: Tyler Roth, Company 3
Sound Mix: Steve Kultgen, Independent Studios
Still Photographer: Matt Eich