UNCF, Y&R Go Beyond Donations, Asking for ‘Investment in the Future’

By Ella Riley-Adams 

Since 1944, the United Negro College Fund has operated under the banner “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” Today, they’re updating to the too-long slogan “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste But a Wonderful Thing to Invest In.”

Regardless of its verbosity, Y&R New York and the Ad Council’s new campaign is a smart, relevant adaptation. Instead of accepting donations for their fund, UNCF is “taking the cause straight to where the money is,” and has created the first-ever stock for social change. Columbia University economist Clive Belfield created an algorithm to determine the value of a share, which investors can purchase via Better Futures’ website.


The Better Futures campaign puts concept into practice, and shows people that they’re not just giving money, they’re investing in future generations. Y&R’s pro bono work will include print and TV PSAs that “use real stories from real UNCF students to show how that investment will pay dividends for all our futures,” says Michael L. Lomax, president/CEO of UNCF, in a statement. If investors are inspired to get involved, the Better Futures stock could be Wall Street’s most meaningful.

Credits after the jump.


Main Client: Richard Shropshire/ Dr. Michael Lomax

Agency – Young and Rubicam/ NY

CCO – Jim Elliott

Creative Director/Writer – Bruce Jacobson

ACD/Art Director – Alan Vladusic

ACD/Art Director – Cliff Skeete

Account Director– Britta Dahl

Account Sup – Sarah Blechner

Producer – Stacey Higgins

Head of Production – Letitia Jacobs

Music Sup: Jessica Dierauer

Ad Council: Deborah Leiter/ Talia Joseph

Production Company – Furlined

Director – Dan Lindsay & TJ Martin

Executive Producer – Eriks Krumins

DP – Malik Sayeed

Line Producer – Jason Gilbert

Editorial Company – Cosmo Street

Editors – Steve Bell, Craig Deardoff

Editorial Producer – Jennifer Parikh

Exec Producer: Maura Woodward

Finishing – Company 3

Colorist: Rob Sciarratta

Color Producer: Katie Andrews

Online/Finishing Artist: Steve Morris/Tom McCullough

Online/Finishing Producer: Matthew Engel

Mix Studio – Heard City NY

Sound/Mix Engineer – Evan Mangiamele

Exec Producer – Gloria Pitagorsky

Music – Future Perfect

Composers: John Connolly & Victor Magro

Exec Producer: Maxwell Gosling


Production Company: ACNE Production

Executive Producer: Fran McGivern

Executive Interactive Producer: Jacinte Faria

Associate Producer: Tina Avanessian

Interactive Creative Director: Martin Pagh Ludvigsen

Senior Art Director: Stevie Laux

Back-end Developer: Stan Wiechers

Front-end Developer: Manuel Vivoda