Reaping Rewards

Fifty dollars invested in a mutual fund 20 years ago would have yielded $452 today, the voice over says as a bar chart shows the rising value.

“Fifty dollars in the United Negro College Fund returned an award-winning actor,” the voice over adds. A photo of UNCF graduate Samuel L. Jackson then appears.

This spot, the latest effort in an ongoing pro bono campaign created for UNCF and The Advertising Council by Young & Rubicam in New York, debuted last month.

Nine regional variations are slated to air in 10 major markets. Each one mirrors the national ad, but features a UNCF grad prominent in his or her local community in place of Jackson.

Judith Jamison, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, appears in the New York ad. Others showing up in the spots include Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, and Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson.

All spots are tagged, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,”a line in use since 1972, when the Ad Council’s UNCF campaign first launched.

“The communications objective hasn’t changed,” said Ad Council president and CEO Peggy Conlon. “It’s still to communicate the importance of allowing African Americans to make it through college.”