America is facing a shortage of teachers, which could have an impact on 10 million students by 2021. The Ad Council, Teach.org and DigitasLBi have teamed up to launch a campaign to help combat this growing national crisis.
The PSA, dubbed "Teachers Have Better Work Stories," aims to increase interest in teaching among students by reframing the profession as much more exciting than other typical jobs. The number of students majoring in education is currently at its lowest point in 45 years.
In one of the TV spots, "Victory," a woman asks her boyfriend (a teacher) how his day was and he goes into an epic, war-movie-like description of a student trying to conquer fractions in class. The boyfriend then asks how her day is, and she gives a quick, mundane response. (In another spot, "Camping," a teacher has the best tale when she shares her scary story about a zombie virus outbreak, as acted out by her class).
"Teaching has long been considered and probably is one of the most noble professions out there, but I think we're at a point in history where there are so many career options and if I'm a high-achieving graduate, there are more choices now than a decade or five years ago," says Atit Shah, executive-VP and head of new brand experiences for North America and executive creative director for New York and Atlanta at DigitasLBi.
He adds that the campaign is looking to drive students to check out Teach.org by showing them that teaching is "an amazing chance to bring up a new generation and practice a whole range of creative and autonomous skills."
Additionally, Shah says the campaign hopes to increase more interest in teaching among diverse students. However, he says the agency didn't want the creative to be too much about race or minority issues, so it decided to just make subtle choices, such as around casting. (The couple in the "Victory" spot is an interracial couple.)
The campaign, which was a pro bono effort from DigitasLBi, includes creative that will run across TV, radio, digital, social media, print and out-of-home. Media is being donated to the initiative through Ad Council and Teach.org partnerships and launch partners include Defy, BET Networks, Blavity, Facebook and LinkedIn.