SS+K and the NCAA Have Had Enough of Your ‘Empowerment’ Messages

By Erik Oster 

SS+K launched a pair of PSAs for the NCAA, entitled “Done” and “Two Percent.”

“Done” addresses issues of gender diversity, with various female athletes saying their “done” with the need for female empowerment messages. Athletes including volleyball player (and three time Olympic gold medalist) Misty May Treanor, three-time Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin Hall and WNBA stars Nneka Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike all express the sentiment that “We shouldn’t need commercials to tell you you’re powerful.”

Clearly inspired by a rash of such femvertising, the spot declares that these athletes, and many others, are over it. After all, “Genders don’t play sports, athletes do.”

“The flip side of an ad that says ‘women [can] do anything’ is that you’re saying you believed they couldn’t,” explained SS+K senior art director Alyssa Georg. “We’re pointing out that women have already reached the top of sports.”


The NCAA would do well not to ignore issues of gender inequality, however, since as recently as 2014 female athletes received ten percent less in NCAA scholarship dollars than their male counterparts. 

Another spot features former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice explaining that only two percent of NCAA athletes turn pro. But while 98 percent of NCAA college athletes won’t receive a professional contract, brand endorsements or private jet, he claims they’ll all receive something even more valuable: a college education. Sallie Mae agrees!

Creative Agency – SS+K
Partner, Co-Founder – Rob Shepardson
Partner, Chief Creative Officer – Bobby Hershfield
Director of Production + Innovation – John Swartz
Senior Producer – Pamela Shulman
Senior Art Director – Alyssa Georg
Senior Copywriter – Elena Knox
Business Manager – Sarah Giarraffa
VP, Account Director – Jennifer Barr

Talent – Extreme Reach
Talent Manager – Vincent DeVito
Celebrity- Business Affairs Account Manager – Melissa Mathias

Production Company – Superprime
Managing Director/Executive Producer – Rebecca Skinner
Managing Director/Sales – Michelle Ross
Managing Director – John Lesher
Head of Production/Executive Producer – Roger Zorovich
Director/DP – Samuel Bayer
Underwater Camera Op – Bob Settlemire
Photographer – John Clark
Executive Producer – Dave Kemp
Production Supervisor – Piazzie
Asst. Production Supervisor – Shaun Daniels
Asst. Production Supervisor – Joshua Fallon
Director Asst – Jillian Dierenfield
Assistant Director – Michael Kahn
Assistant Director – Gail Shand
AC – Rich Hama
AC – Noah Glazer
D.I.T. – Adrian Jebef
Gaffer – Sean Ginn
BB Electric – Gregory Shummon
3rd Electric – Brandon Delgado
Electric – Jose Martinez
Electric – Robbie Poulliot
Key Grip – Matt Blum
BB Grip – Seong Dilg
Grip – Jeff Brack
Grip/DRVR – Dewayne Richardson
Prop Master – Scott DeSantis; Michael Zephro
Art – Mike McCabe
Script Supervisor – Ana Maria Quintano
Sound Mixer – Moe Chamberlain
Sound Boom – Ron Sherouse
Teleprompter – Debora Parga
VTR – Matt Hillyer
Make up – Angeline Fox
Key Costumer – Steph Strate
Costumes 2nd
– Tai Kohen
Costumes 3rd
– Gabrielle Levinson
Location Manager/Scout – John Rizzi
Gang Boss – Billy Dawson
Catering – Chris Tersaakyan
Craft Service – Rhonda Johnson
Medic – Chris Lum
Production Assistant LEAD – Cindy Garcia
Production Assistants – Angel Cituentes, Lucio Michel, Julio
Bay, Gabe Zepeda, Eric Valdez, Danita Clark, Wendy Montoya, Christian Clark, Bryce Pascual

Editing/Post Production Company – Arcade Edit
Jeff Ferruzzo– Editor
Matt Ferran– Asst. Editor
Sila Soyer– Partner, Executive Producer
Gavin Carroll – Senior Producer
Tristan Wake– On-line edit/VFX

Frame Store
Beau Leon – Telecine

Heard City
Jodi Levine – Mixer

Music – tonefarmer
Founder / Partner –
Ray Loewy
President / Partner – Tiffany Senft
Executive Producer – Liz Higgins

Spot – “2%”
Track – “Endorsement Feels”
Composer – Dan Sammartano

Spot – “Done”
Track – “Arms Akimbo”
Composer – Jimmy Harned