Ad Council Unveils Patriotic Spots

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"Main Street":One of four spots from DeVito/Verdi and director Bob Giraldi.
Just in time for the Fourth of July, the Ad Council today unveiled a new PSA campaign celebrating America's freedoms. The effort features eight spots and one print ad that will break this week. The campaign includes pro bono contributions from four agencies, including New York's DeVito/Verdi, which collaborated with director Bob Giraldi on four of the spots.

In one, "Main Street USA," we see a row of houses in Bayonne, N.J., as the voiceover explains that the September 11 terrorists hoped to change America forever. The shot dissolves to another shot of the houses, now each with an American flag out front. "Well, they succeeded," the narrator concludes. Three more spots ask "What if America wasn't America?" as we see examples of what it would be like without freedoms Americans take for granted. In one, a religious congregation holds a secret service in a cellar. In another, a student is questioned by police after looking for a book at the library. In a third, friends try to quiet a man who is railing against taxes in a diner. "You want them to ruin your life?" his friends ask. "They can do that you know."

A similar message comes across in a spot from DDB/Chicago, in which a young man is pulled over by police who search his car for banned newspapers. Three spots from Lowe, meanwhile, take a different approach, using documentary-style footage to show how freedom underlies other values, such as change, hope and choice. A print ad, contributed by TBWA/Chiat/Day/Los Angeles, positions the decision to read or not read the ad as itself an exercise in freedom. All the ads include the DeVito/Verdi-developed tagline: "Freedom. Appreciate it. Cherish it. Protect it."

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