The Y Calls for Unity in America With Another Powerful Ad From Droga5

A new :90, plus a request to take a #SelfieWithSomeoneNew

Headshot of Katie Richards

The Y (formerly known as the YMCA) is using some pretty striking imagery in its latest campaign from Droga5 to call on the country, which feels more divided than ever, to band together and unite.

This is the Y’s second major national advertising effort, following its first big Droga5 campaign last year. That campaign took a look at underserved communities and the young people living in those neighborhoods. Now, the organization is back with an equally powerful new campaign, themed “For a better us.”

A 90-second spot starts with images of unity–a family eating dinner together, children standing for the Pledge of Allegiance–but things take a turn when it starts to depict the current state of the U.S.

“Us, is all of us. Different looks, different voices, one sacred bond. But right now, that bond is fraying,” the narrator says.

“For a better us” uses some compelling images to show that fraying, drawing on common themes you might notice pretty frequently in the news these days. There are depictions of xenophobia, riots in the streets, protests and cyberbullying.

But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel—the Y.

While the Y is hoping to spread messages of inclusion and acceptance, the main purpose of the ad is to call on the country to support the organization at a time when it seems to be needed most. “For a better us, donate to your local Y today,” the spot concludes. (The donation link appears at the end of the ad as well.)

The campaign also includes a social media component under the hashtag #SelfieWithSomeoneNew. The Y is asking its members to expand their horizons and meet new people—get to know a bit about who they are, where they come from and what their story is. And yes, take photo with them to share.

The members are then encouraged to post the selfies on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

“The goal is to have Y members share each of your stories and why it’s important to engage with fellow members of your community and what it means to come together at the Y,” a Droga5 spokesperson said.


Agency Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman David Droga
Chief Creative Officer Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director Kevin Brady
Group Creative Director Casey Rand
Group Creative Director Karen Short
Copywriter Gabe Sherman
Art Director Gage Young
Jr Copywriter Patrick Newman
Jr Art Director Sonja Johnson
Jr Copywriter James Gross
Jr Art Director Gianna D’Amico
Chief Creation Officer Sally-Ann Dale
Co-Directors of Film Production Jesse Brihn, Bryan Litman
Producer, Film Gabija Blake
Associate Producer, Film Tony Xie
Music Supervisor Mike Ladman
Director of Business Affairs Jocelyn Howard
Integrated Business Affairs Manager Keith Marman
Associate Director of Interactive Justin Durazzo
Executive Producer, Interactive Tasha Cronin
Executive Producer, Experiential Bo Djogo
Producer, Interactive Aaron Matys
Director of Art Production Cliff Lewis
Art Producer Nichole Katsikas
Global Chief Strategy Officer Jonny Bauer
Co-Head of Strategy Colm Murphy
Strategy Director Jennifer Lange
Head of Communications Strategy Colleen Leddy
Senior Communications Strategist Hillary Fink
Communications Strategist Mark Longacre
Chief Intelligence Officer Amy Avery
Senior Data Strategist Brad Mumbrue
Junior Data Strategist Alexandra Grant
Head of Account Management Dan Gonda
Account Director Amanda Chandler
Account Manager Susannah Wherry
Project Manager Meredith Robinson

Client The Y
SVP, Chief Marketing Officer Valerie Waller
Creative Director Wendy Currie
Marketing Director Joi Freeman
Graphic Designer Yoshiki Araya
Video and Multimedia Producer Jeff Saunders
Communications Manager, Marketing Communications Dorothy Mora

Production Company Corner Shop
Director Malik Vitthal
DOP Ashley Connor
Executive Producer Anna Hashmi
Producer Jennifer Duffy

Editorial Work Editorial
Editor Adam Robinson
Assistant Editor Theo Mercado
Executive Producer Erica Thompson
Producer Sari Resnick

Post Production Blacksmith
Executive Producer Charlotte Arnold
Producer Alexa Mauro
Lead 2D Artist Daniel Morris
2D Artist Steve Koenig
2D Artist Margolit Steiner
2D Artist Jay Lee

Color Company3
Colorist Tom Poole
Producer Alexandra Lubrano

Music Composition Minbal
Composer Benjamin Balcom
Sound Sonic Union
Mixer Michael Marinelli
Radio Mix Paul Weiss
Producer Patrick Sullivan, Justine Cortale

Photographer Landon Speers
Production Company Urban NYC

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.