In 2015 the Ad Council achieved viral fame with its "Love Has No Labels" film from R/GA featuring diverse lovers and friends stepping out from behind an X-ray screen--a message aimed at stemming the rising tide of bias and divisiveness in the country.
Since then, the campaign has evolved over various iterations: 2016 saw pro wrestler John Cena walked down the main street of a small town, speaking earnestly and directly into the camera about American ideals of equality and acceptance, while a 2017 Valentine’s Day campaign took over the kiss cam at the Pro Bowl in Orlando.
For 2018, LHNL is going long-form, with “Rising,” an 11-minute short film from R/GA directed by David Nutter (“Game of Thrones,” “Band of Brothers”) and written by Lena Waithe (“Master of None,” “The Chi”). It’s the first installment of the campaign to feature a storyline, special effects and stunt performers.
In Anytown, USA, tensions are high. A gruff white man pauses work on his truck to stare down his neighbor, a young man from a family of color. It’s a diverse community, but it’s not close-knit. At least not until the rain.
His house flooded, the young man breaks through to the roof but has no way to rescue his younger sister and his wheelchair-bound mother. It takes a life-or-death crisis, one that affects the entire town, to actually bring them all together to do the right thing. In the end, the water doesn’t care what anyone looks like, and neither do the survivors.
The film will run on Showtime, both on-air and on-demand. The trailer will run in cinema placements through National CineMedia, out-of-home assets will run on billboards nationwide and iHeartRadio will promote it with messages from artists.
Early next year, a series of short videos from Facebook will tell stories of real people who came together to face adversity, and viewers will be able to make donations to relief efforts for Hurricanes Michael and Florence at the LHNL website.
Production was out of Great Guns with visual effects from Ntropic. The team also included cinematographer Peter Menzies Jr., hair and makeup artist Cyndi Reece, stuntman Eddie Perez, sound designer Tim Hays and music supervisor Akila Robinson.