The YMCA Brings Hope to Gritty, Underprivileged Communities in Debut Campaign From Droga5

Powerful Campaign Depicts Deprived American Communities

Published On
Jan 25, 2016

Editor's Pick

The YMCA aims to shift perceptions of its purpose with a gritty new campaign from Droga5, kicking off with two spots that focus on deprived American communities.

Both spots were shot in Baltimore by director Seb Edwards through Park Pictures, and feature casts of real people who live in the areas. "Places" was shot in West Baltimore, a neighborhood that suffers from extreme income inequality and is frequently in the news for its social unrest. It opens with shots of boarded up houses and dilapidated streets and a voiceover speaks of how those in the community only get attention through news headlies of tragedy and unrest. But finally, the spot homes in on the vibrancy of the community and shows how it can benefit from the YMCA's facilities.

"Idle Hands," was shot in Dundalk, a low-income suburb that lacks the third spaces and recreational activities that are vital for kids. The spot opens on its bleak streets, abandoned shopping malls, bored kids at home and gangs of roaming youths, but a voiceover goes on to explain how their "idle hands" can be put to good use, as we see the same young people taking part in science experiments at the Y.

According to the agency, the campaign's objective is to shift perceptions of the Y from a "gym and swim," to a relevant, impactful nonprofit, and to help inspire people to donate and fund the work it does.


Jan 25, 2016
Brand :
Client :
Agency :
Droga5-New York
Director :
Seb Edwards
Production Company :
Park Pictures
Chairperson :
David Droga
Chief Creative Officer :
Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director :
Kevin Brady
Creative Director :
Casey Rand
Creative Director :
Karen Land Short
Copywriter :
Lincoln Boehm
Chief Creative Officer :
SallyAnn Dale
Head of Broadcast Production :
Ben Davies
Senior Producer :
Jennifer McKenzie
Global Chief Strategy Officer :
Jonny Bauer
Head of Strategy :
Chet Gulland
Director, Strategy :
Elaine Purcell
Group Communication Strategy Director :
Duncan Owen
Senior Data Strategist :
Eric Raicovich
Group Account Director :
Matt Ahumada
Account Director :
Amanda Chandler
Account Manager :
Sara Fletcher
Project Manager :
Rayna Lucier
President/Chief Executive Offier :
Kevin Washington
Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy/Advancement Officer :
Kate Coleman
Vice President, Marketing Communications :
Donna Bembenek
Senior Director, External Relations :
Ryu Mizuno
Executive Producer :
Mary Ann Marino
Producer :
Martha English
Editorial :
Rock Paper Scissors
Editor :
Ted Guard
Assistant Editor :
JK Carrington
Executive Producer :
Eve Kornblum
Producer :
Lisa Barnable
Post Production :
The Mill
Producer :
Mile Pullan
Colorist :
Fergus McCall
Flame Artist :
Kieran Hanrahan
Music :
Music :
Benjamin Balcom
Sound Director :
Hear City
Audio Engineer :
Keith Reynaud at Heard City

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