R/GA, John Cena Celebrate Diversity With ‘We Are America’ PSA

By Erik Oster 

R/GA and the Ad Council launched a Fourth of July spot starring John Cena called “We Are America,” a continuation of the “Love Has No Labels” campaign discussing bias and diversity which they launched last March.

In the spot, the WWE star asserts that diversity and love for Americans of all types is at the heart of what the country is really about. During the ad Cena walks through a typical American town, whose inhabitants — including those of Latino, African American and Middle Eastern descent, as well as LGBT individuals—reflects the true diversity of the country. At the beginning of the spot, Cena defines patriotism as meaning “love and devotion to one’s country.”

He goes on to explore what that love means, and how the “average” American may be different tham what you picture from that term, deciding that, ultimately, “the freedom to celebrate the things that make us us” is as American as it gets. (Thankfully, he doesn’t ask if there’s anything more American than America.) Near the conclusion of the ad, he adds, “Patriotism shouldn’t just be about pride of country, it should be about love … beyond age, disability, sexuality, race, religion and any other labels, because the second any of us judge people based on any of those labels,” we’re not really being patriotic.

While perhaps a bit long (the spot clocks in at over three minutes), the timely message of “We Are America” is a welcome and important one, with Cena’s spot-on delivery helping to hammer it home. Visually, shots of diverse Americans all gathered on a kind of Main Street, Everytown makes the perfect accompaniment to Cena’s passionate speech. That speech is convincing both for its statistical evidence of the true diversity of America and its evaluation of so-called patriotism that would exclude anyone based on a specific label as false patriotism. It may even succeed in convincing those who wrap up their bigotry in an American flag to reevaluate their priorities. That’s the hope at least.


“At a time when it feels hard for our country to find common ground, we need to remind audiences that to celebrate America is to celebrate all Americans. We’re so proud to continue the ‘Love Has No Labels’ message as part of the July 4 holiday and throughout the year,” Ad Council president and CEO Lisa Sherman told Adweek. “‘We Are America’ illuminates what we already know—that Americans today cover the full spectrum of age, sexuality, ability, race and religion. And this message is just as important now as ever.”

“Like last year, the power of the campaign came from its honesty. To celebrate the real America is to celebrate the real people that make up this country,” added R/GA global CCO Nick Law. “As someone who moved to the U.S. 22 years ago, I’ve benefited from the openness and generosity of this country. And it’s this inclusive spirit that now makes me proud.”

Client: Ad Council
Priscilla Natkins, EVP, Director of Client Services
Heidi Arthur, SVP, Campaign Management
Trace Danicich, VP, Campaign Director
Jenn Walters, Campaign Director
Madeline Miller, Assistant Campaign Manager
Ellyn Fisher, SVP, PR and Social Media
Agency: R/GA
Nick Law, Vice Chairman, Global Chief Creative Officer
Eric Jannon, Group Executive Creative Director
Chris Northam, Group Executive Creative Director
Thomas Darlow, Associate Creative Director
Rene Van Wonderen, Associate Creative Director
Lucia Orlandi, Associate Creative Director
Paul Wood, Associate Creative Director
Eduardo Quadra, Associate Creative Director
Shashank Raval, Associate Creative Director
Bethany Kennedy, Senior Visual Designer
Ria McIlwraith, Designer
Tessa Ndiaye, Experience Designer
Emily Uram, Junior Art Director
Lukas Pearson, Junior Copywriter
Cindy Pound, Executive Production Director, Campaign
Jeff Skutnik, Executive Campaign Producer
Lucas Dennison, Digital Producer
Dylan Viner, Group Director, Strategy
Dave Surgan, Strategy Director
Emily Kearns, Senior Social Strategist
Amy McEwan, Strategist
Micah Topping, Executive Technology Director
Josh Hansen, Lead Architect
Steve Tsai, Senior QA Engineer
Wade Wojcak, Senior Software Engineer
Daniel Diez, EVP Global Chief Marketing Officer, Executive Management
Suzanne McGee, Director, PR
Stephen Bernstein, Director, Business Affairs
Kat Friis, Executive Production Director, Content
Leanne Diamond, Post Producer
Ashlye Vaughan, Senior Content Producer
Joanne Rotella, Senior Manager, Business Affairs
Shima Green, Stills Photographer
Madeline Gioia, Coordinator, Business Affairs
William Morel, Art Producer
Danielle Sessler, Associate Producer
Shakirah Tabourn, Production Assistant
Production Company – MJZ
Director – Rocky Morton
Executive Producer – Emma Wilcockson
Line Producer – Larry Shure
Director of Photography – David Lanzeberg
Editorial – Rock Paper Scissors
Editor – Dan de Winter
Original Music – Human/ Phillip Glass
color- Nice Shoes, Chris Ryan
Flame: Nice Shoes –Jason Farber
Mix: Nylon studios, Dave Robertson
Music supervision: wool and tusk