Fraser Gets United Way to Laugh

New Shop Adds Humor to the Charity’s Mix
LOS ANGELES–Three years of work for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles helped Fraser Communications pick up the national ad account of the United Way of America.
The account, with billings estimated at $5 million, had been at Ogilvy & Mather, New York. It involves a combination of probing and fee advertising, said Renee Fraser, co-founder and president of the Santa Monica, Calif., agency.
The shop, formerly Fraser/Huff, has produced a 30-second TV spot that breaks this week. A full campaign will roll out in earnest in 2000, with national TV, radio, print, outdoor and Internet advertising.
Fraser won the account following a low-key review of undisclosed agencies.
“Our ad program uses humor to get people to pay more attention to the United Way and learn more about what they do,” Fraser said.
The work will incorporate a lighter tone and aim for a more contemporary feel than past United Way ads. The Alexandria, Va.-based client’s commercials generally have relied on emotion, rarely delving into specifics of the charity network’s efforts.
“The definition of the brand had been so vague in people’s minds; we took advantage of that and made fun of it,” Fraser said. K