Reeve Directs SFGT’s Museum PSAs

NEW YORK Actor Christopher Reeve has directed a series of public service spots that star celebrities and promote the National Constitution Center, a Philadelphia museum slated to open on July 4.

Independent agency SFGT approached Reeve to direct the series of four 30-second TV spots in part because of his clout with well-known personalities, said Dudley Fitzpatrick, CEO and chief creative officer of the Philadelphia shop. SFGT won the federally funded work in July, after a review that included several undisclosed New York and Philadelphia agencies.

“Not only would he bring national celebrities to the table, but we also understood that Christopher is very, very strong advocate of constitutional freedoms,” Fitzpatrick said.

In the spots, celebrities such as Diane Sawyer, Maya Angelou, Ted Nugent and Russell Simmons herald the ways in which the U.S. Constitution allow them to act freely. In each ad, the talent is seated in front of a white background and begins his or her testimonial with the tagline “I am.”

“I am able to seek the truth without hiding behind closed doors,” says ABC’s Sawyer in one spot. “I am able to choose the words I voice, the evils I fight, the guns I carry,” testifies rocker and Second Amendment supporter Nugent in another. Poet Angelou says, “I am able to worship. I am able to abstain from worship.” Hip-hop impresario Simmons is able to “speak freely about the suffering of our people, the spirit of our youth.”

Each of the spots ends with a graphic that reads: “The freedom to be you. It all starts with the Constitution.” The National Constitution Center’s logo then appears with the museum’s opening date and location.

Nine radio spots also employ the “I am able” tag and feature actor Richard Dreyfuss, activist Erin Brockovitch, Christopher Reeve and radio personality Howard Stern, among others.

Print and out-of-home ads aim to tap into “real-time” enjoyment of constitutional rights, Fitzpatrick said. Door tags supplied to Philadelphia hotels state, “I am able to enjoy my privacy.” Coasters supplied to bars read, “I am able to sit here,” a reference to prohibition, Fitzpatrick said. Newspaper ads say, “I am able to read this paper.

The television spots are running on time donated by the Comcast Cable Network. Donated time and a $1 million media buy will drive radio and print advertisements, Fitzpatrick said.