New York Creates Campaign to Garner Funds for WTC Memorial

TBWA Works Pro Bono to Help Raise $170 Million

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NEW YORK ( -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor George Pataki today unveiled a new pro bono ad campaign aimed at raising $170 million for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.
A nationwide push for donations to fund a WTC memorial begins July 11
A nationwide push for donations to fund a WTC memorial begins July 11

The nationwide push aims to build awareness of the need for funds to build a memorial and museum at Ground Zero. The foundation has raised $130 million so far, but the goal is $300 million.

'Basic human need'
The effort kicks off today. Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day created the TV, radio, outdoor and online effort. (The multimedia starts July 11.) "The campaign is based on the basic human need we all felt following 9/11," said Gerry Graf, executive creative director, who was also the creative lead on earlier "NYC Miracle" spots. "We feel so privileged to contribute to this lasting memorial."

The first phase of the campaign runs until late August and features the theme "Bringing Objects." Print ads use images -- donated by photographers -- that show people erecting personal memorials at the site after 9/11. TV spots reenact the creation of some of these memorials, with actors carrying items that have been left by real people at the site, such as teddy bears and football jerseys. The tagline is "We needed one then. We need one now." Other ads simply state "It's time," and include the phone number to call to donate.

"I believe the new advertising campaign launched will reinvigorate our efforts" to raise funds for the site, said Mr. Bloomberg, who appeared with Mr. Graf to unveil the campaign.

Donated ad space
The New York dailies, along with national weeklies and outdoor companies in several major cities, have already donated ad space for the campaign. The second phase is in development and will run shortly before the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

Donations from media were garnered from the WTC Memorial Foundation Communications Advisory Council, which is chaired by Yahoo "consigliere" Matt Scheckner, who is also executive director of Advertising Week in New York. The volunteer committee, made up of industry leaders in print, online and advertising, supported the work of Omnicom media sibling PHD, which volunteered to create the multimedia plan for the WTC Memorial Foundation.

The campaign is further supported nationally from partnerships with public agencies, such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. John Whitehead, chairman of the WTC Memorial Foundation, stressed the importance of partnerships in getting the campaign off the ground. "We hope to inspire the public to support our campaign," he said.

The foundation expects half of the donations to come from the New York area and the rest nationally. While the clear focus is the U.S., the group hasn't ruled out an international push.
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