Ad Council Breaks Campaign to Celebrate Freedom

The PSA opens with an image of a typical neighborhood in Bayonne, N.J. “On Sept. 11, terrorists tried to change America forever,” the voiceover says.

The spot, “Main Street USA,” by DeVito/Verdi in New York, is one of eight spots and one print ad launching today as part of the Ad Council’s “Freedom” campaign.

Three of four commercials DeVito/Verdi created for the campaign focus on what life in America would be like without freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the freedom to read what we want. In “Library,” for example, a man is detained by security after requesting two books Amer icans are not allowed to read.

“We are asking every American to be soldiers of freedom,” said Ellis Verdi, shop president.

Three spots from Lowe in New York focus on choice and oppor tunity. In “Change,” students in a classroom study the civil-rights pro tests.

“The idea is to leave the viewer with a sense of ap preciation and pride about our way of life,” said Dean Hacohen, executive creative director at Lowe. The goal, added Ad Council CEO Peggy Conlon, is to “stimulate a dialogue with the American people about what freedom means to them.”

The tagline: “Freedom. Appreciate it. Cherish it. Protect it.” DDB Chi cago also created a spot, and TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., did the print ad. The PSAs will run on network and cable; the print ad will appear in newspapers and magazines.

The work is the first in what is expected to be an ongoing campaign by the Ad Council. The group is soliciting donations from ad-agency execs and corporations to pay for future production costs.

“Advertising … is designed to move the consumer to some sort of action,” said Phil Dusenberry, former chairman of BBDO, New York, and head of the Ad Council’s creative task force on the campaign. “But in this case, the campaign is to get people to feel some thing.”