Ad Council Launches “Love Has No Labels” PSAs to Address Bias and Celebrate Diversity
NEW YORK, NY, March 3,2015 – To coincide with the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Selma March (March 7-25, 1965), the Ad Council is leading an unprecedented group of historic brands to launch a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) on behalf of their Love Has No Labels campaign. First announcedin February, the digital-first campaign is designed to furtherunderstanding and acceptance of all communities regardless of race, religion,gender, sexual orientation, age and ability. The new television and online video PSAs encourage audiences to examine and challenge their own implicit bias.
According to the Perception Institute, the vast majority of Americans consider themselves to be unprejudiced, yet research has shown that a high percentage of these same people hold negative associations against those whom appear different than themselves.
Launched on February 12,Love Has No Labels began to grow awareness and an online community on Facebook through leveraging social media activations posted by campaign partners The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, P&G, Unilever,Allstate and State Farm® on their various social media pages. The new PSAs, created pro bono by R/GA, feature real people filmed on Valentine’s Day at a live event in Santa Monica. The PSAs feature a large x-ray screen turning on to reveal two skeletons embracing. As theskeletons separate and walk out from behind the screen, the audience discoverswho they really are. This reveal happens a number of times, each with a new set of skeletons highlighting different pairings of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, ability and age to challenge the viewers’ expectation and encourage them to take a closer look at their own implicit bias. The TVs pots and online video features the song “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Mary Lambert.
“Implicit bias refers tothe way people unconsciously and sometimes unwillingly exhibit bias towardsother individuals and groups,” said Rachel Godsil, Co-founder and Director ofResearch of the Perception Institute. “It doesn’t mean that people are hiding their racial prejudices, instead, people who actively reject prejudice may still unknowingly carry around some degree of bias or stereotypes about others.The good news is that once we are aware of our biases, we can begin to take action to reduce the effects they can have on our behavior and ultimately, to reduce the biases themselves.”
The new PSAs will run in donated time and space both online and on television stations across the country. New print and web banner PSAs using a similar skeleton concept highlight the main idea on the campaign website, “Before anything else, we’re all human” and encourage people to learn how to challenge their own biases.
AOL will be supporting the new creative online exclusively for a two week period beginning today throughout its properties, including on the AOL Mail sign-in page, “Make a Difference” module and in video pre-roll for the AOL Original series “That’s Racist” starring comedian Mike Epps.
“No matter what our declared beliefs, bias can live in all of us. Recognizing this type of ‘fastthinking’ discrimination is the first step towards greater understanding andacceptance in our country,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the AdCouncil. “We’re so proud to have such provocative creative to help spread this crucial message.”
“Fighting hate startswith being aware of our own biases,” said Lecia Brooks, Outreach Director atthe Southern Poverty Law Center. “As an organization dedicated to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society, we’re proud to join the Ad Council in raising awareness about the harm of implicit bias as a first step towards greater acceptance for all.”
The integrated campaigndirects audiences to LoveHasNoLabels.com, which features a quiz where visitorscan examine their own biases and find resources on how to overcome thosebiases. The campaign taps into the expertise of eight leading non-profitorganizations in each of the discriminated classes. The campaign website connects visitors to partnering non-profit organizations including,Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Women’s Law Center, Human Rights Campaign, American Association of People with Disabilities, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Muslim Advocates and AARP, where they can sign pledges, report bullying incidents and participate in other activities.
"We live in a time defined by technologies that connect usall. Unfortunately, our prejudices are from another age, and can prevent us from connecting with people with clear eyes and open hearts,” said Nick Law,Chief Creative Officer, R/GA. “Hopefully this message will remind us howsuperficial these prejudices are and how labels mask the best of ourhumanity."
In addition to fundingthe year-long campaign, partner companies will show their support around keytimes during the year. Each partner company, including The Coca-Cola Company,PepsiCo, P&G, Unilever, Allstate and State Farm, were identified based ontheir demonstrated commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion within andbeyond their organizations. To learn more about how the partners are addressingthese issues, visit www.LoveHasNoLabels.com.
Since launch on February12, the campaign has generated awareness and engagement among consumers,industry leaders and corporate leaders. On Twitter, the campaign has had areach of 8.5 million so far and on Facebook, the campaign page has reached morethan 1.8 million people. Additionally, posts from our brand partners generated over 15,000 likes and almost 2,000 shares across Facebook.
The Ad Council is aprivate, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteertalent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messagesto the American public. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns,visit www.adcouncil.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.
R/GA, the agency for the Connected Age, developsproducts, services and communications to grow our clients’ brands andbusinesses. Founded in 1977, the agency has been a pioneer at the intersectionof technology, design and marketing with work spanning web, mobile, and socialcommunications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand developmentand business consulting. R/GA has more than 1,400 employees globally withoffices across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific andis part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’slargest advertising and marketing services organizations. For more informationon R/GA, please visit us at www.rga.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
The Ad Council