Barkley Evergreen & Partners Pushes Purple

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Red Blue Project 'Idiots'
Red Blue Project 'Idiots'
Barkley Evergreen & Partners in Kansas City has been in the giving mood lately. In addition to an ambitious flurry of pro-bono work that resulted in campaigns for 40 local non-profits and organizations in honor of the agency's 40th anniversary, the shop has launched the Red Blue Project, an attempt to bridge the sociopolitical gaps created by the two presidential elections that established the battling identities of "red state" vs. "blue state." The campaign, a brainchild of senior copywriter Phil Gable and CCO Brian Brooker, features five spots, a website and a blog that encourage people to think of those with opposing views as people and not extremists. The spots each feature an exaggerated stereotype, such as a pro-choice liberal who is anti-life and a gun-toting redneck with a militia of religious children, with the tag, "Not everyone who disagrees with you is an idiot."

"Ideas can shape our thinking, and in this case we're using ideas to expand our thinking," says Brooker. "By showing red and blue states at their most extreme, we hope to show people that life doesn't have to be as black and white as it may seem. Ultimately the idea is to open people's minds and encourage collaboration and open thinking and hopefully reach some solutions on key issues. There's such a stalemate now that there's no communication." The campaign even leads by example, with Missouri-based Barkley partnering with New York-based agency DiMassimo.
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