In the wake of Charlottesville, Trump's stand-off with the NFL and other recent events that reflect a divided America, a new campaign from the YMCA has powerful resonance.
The latest work from Droga5 for the organization takes a long hard look at the concept of "us" - i.e., America. The 90-second spot opens with a fluttering national flag and children reciting the pledge of allegiance at school, then features a montage of diverse communities and people coming together in positive ways (for example, a white man helps the black victim of a road accident).
But, the voiceover goes on to warn, "Right now, that bond is fraying." We hear the wailing of sirens and whirring of helicopters, see a child lying on her bed seemingly depressed by social media, witness angry arguing between people of different generations and schoolkids laughing at a young woman in Arab dress. "Where do we find common ground?" it asks, before going on to suggest that answer is the community feeling and power to heal that the YMCA fosters. "The Y fills the gap and bridges the divides," we are told, as we see people of different races, ethnicities and abilities taking part in different activities together.
Droga5's previous work for the Y has included one spot predicting a future female president and another highlighting America's deprived communities--but this one is the mostly starkly political yet.
"Us" is based on a key insight about the things people across the country are experiencing, from anxiety to social isolation, to a lack of empathy," says Valerie Barker Waller, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Y-USA. "We want the country to know that, among the daily struggles, the Y is there--to bring people together, to help find common ground and to address pressing social issues that so many communities are facing."
The TV spotc, airing on multiple broadcast networks including ABC, CBS and NBC, was directed by Malik Vitthal at The Corner Shop. The campaign also includes several radio spots, digital assets and social media content, all which feature kids, adults and families who are members of the Y.