CP+B Crafts Message of Hope for ‘Unheard Soldiers’

By Erik Oster 

CP+B found a provocative way to deliver a message of hope for veterans suffering from PTSD in a new PSA radio spot for Mission 22, the agency’s collaboration with veteran nonprofit group Elder Heart.

With the blessing of his widow, Sabine, CP+B collaborated with audio postproduction house Heard City in New York to use audio recordings of veteran and PTSD sufferer Clay Ward to reconstruct a message urging veterans battling the disorder to get help. While some may take issue with the idea of an ad agency manipulating the audio recordings of a deceased veteran the ad, released in time for Veteran’s Day, delivers a message to the all too often ignored psychological issues facing veterans. With research suggesting an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide daily, it’s an important message to spread and could be a true service to veterans who heed its call to get the help they need. 

“There are some discrepancies here and there of tone, and we had to really work on it to make it sound as nice and smooth as we could,” CP+B executive creative director Gustavo Sarkis told Adweek. “But at the same time, we thought it was good that you can notice that it’s been patched together piece by piece, because that is what the message is all about.”

“A lot of soldiers with PTSD, they talk about it, they verbalize it publicly with family and friends,” he added. “We thought, ‘What if we gathered recordings from these soldiers and transformed them into a positive message of hope?’ And soldiers, military people, veterans—they’re much more likely to listen to other soldiers.”