GSD&M Shows Central Texas Red Cross Helped

GSD&M late last month launched an emotional campaign for the Central Texas division of the American Red Cross.

Three television spots, all linked to the events of Sept. 11, began airing Thanksgiving weekend on Texas television stations.

The first spot rolls a list of items —”thousands of cups of coffee, 11 million meals, 3,000 first aid kits”— over the image of a simple coffee cup. The spot concludes with the words, “Just thought you’d like to know what your donations have done so far.”

Two other spots use a montage of photographs of the Sept. 11 tragedy. One conveys the message, “From 1,700 miles away you made a difference.” The other ad focuses on the continuing efforts of the Red Cross following the initial emergency.

GSD&M in Austin, Texas, held its first meeting with the Red Cross one week after the terrorist attacks.

“One of the messages they wanted to convey was that money donated here really does go toNew York,” said agency senior vice president and creative director Steve Miller.

Ironically, the ads broke just as a national furor was erupting over whether monies sent to the Red Cross are, in fact, being appropriately allocated to Sept. 11 victims.

Brent Ladd, GSD&M’s senior vice president and also co-creative director on the campaign, said the release was timely.

“People in general just want to know, ‘What’s my money going towards anyway?’ ” he said.

Ladd and Mill-er, best known for their work on Southwest Airlines, pulled the Red Cross campaign together quickly, finding photographs for the montage through an Internet search.

Among those donating their services were photographers John Albanese and Doug Kanter, as well as director Dennis Fagan.