Steven HT Wong is the cofounder and co-CEO of Ready State, the marketing and communications committee chair at the 1990 Institute, and a valued Ad Council partner, most notably for his work on our “Fight the Virus. Fight the Bias,” which directly addresses the rise in anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to learn more about Steven’s work, his thoughts on what brands should be doing to combat the rise in anti-Asian racism, and his advice for creating a meaningful life and career.
April 9, 2021
Hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community have increased exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, Stop AAPI Hate released a report that documented 3,795 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents from March 2020 to February 2021, and last night in Atlanta, a shooter took the lives of eight people, most of whom were women of AAPI descent. If you or your organization is looking for actionable ways to support the AAPI community and stand firmly against hate, read on:
March 17, 2021
Through the technology they use, the partnerships they develop and the creative approach they take to telling new stories, advertisers have the unique ability to propel culture forward.
March 15, 2021
Just because Black History Month is drawing to a close doesn’t mean education about Black history should. We thought we’d take this moment to round up some valuable partners, resources and collaborators that may inspire you or your organization to elevate Black voices through your work. Let’s commit to making every month Black History Month.
February 25, 2021
Moments before Elvis Presley sang “Hound Dog” on The Ed Sullivan Show on October 28, 1956, he made a different kind of history backstage, where he got his polio vaccine in front of reporters. He had been recruited for this PR effort for a simple, brilliant reason—children were getting the vaccine, but teenagers and young adults weren’t. Who would they listen to? Well, they were listening to Elvis.
February 18, 2021
As America gears up for a Super Bowl unlike any in history, many brands have already released the ads they’ll run during the big game on Sunday. Though many spots exist in a parallel existence free of COVID-19, some meet our moment more directly. Here are a few of our favorites, including one that won’t run on Sunday. (You’ll understand what we mean in a minute.)
February 5, 2021
Purpose-driven marketing is a strategy used by an organization to center its external communications efforts around a social cause that aligns with its core values. The goal of purpose-driven marketing is for an organization to develop a deeper rapport with their consumer base by creating authentic connections based on shared values.
February 1, 2021
In the summer of 2020, a large number of brands and corporations rushed to show the world that they were part of the country’s reckoning over systemic racism. Some took legitimate, positive steps and shared their efforts in honest, meaningful ways; others put out vague platitudes and were quickly called out for their lack of real measurable action.
January 25, 2021
There were times it seemed impossible, but 2020 is finally, finally behind us. A new year is here, bringing so many reasons for hope. And with that hope comes a sentiment that we at the Ad Council are hearing a lot: “Maybe one day soon, we can get back to normal.”
January 4, 2021
Nate Nichols, founder and creative director of Palette Group, and Steffi Behringer, partner and executive producer at the agency, recently co-founded Allyship and Action, which hosted a virtual two-day summit in October that was focused on dismantling systemic racism in the advertising industry. That summit was only the first step. We talked to Nate and Steffi about the industry changes they saw (and didn’t see) in 2020, and what the next steps are for 2021.
December 18, 2020
More than 40% of Americans report that they are struggling with mental health conditions as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, according to an August 2020 survey in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Week Report. And as we look ahead to a challenging, isolating winter, those struggles will only increase.
December 16, 2020
This piece was originally published in Ad Age.
December 10, 2020
As a VP, Group Campaign Development at the Ad Council, Nick Sugai leads purpose-driven marketing for a number our campaigns, including Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, High Blood Pressure Control and most recently, our COVID-19 Vaccine Educational Effort. He’s also a member of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and founded our Ambassadors program aimed at building relationships with a more diverse array of college students. On December 10, we’re proud to say that he’ll be honored by the ANA Educational Fund as a 2020 Talent Champion, an award meant to highlight those in the advertising industry who have “worked tirelessly to create richer and more diverse talent pipelines for the benefit of all our organizations.”
December 7, 2020
As Co-Founder and Creative Chairman of Pereira O’Dell, PJ Pereira is committed to using his skills and relationships to make a positive impact on the world. In his five years as an Ad Council Board member, PJ and Pereira O’Dell have created work for a range of Ad Council campaigns including Texting and Driving Prevention, Recycling and Coronavirus Response.
December 3, 2020
This year has been incredibly challenging for the advertising and marketing industries, and the influencer market is no exception. When Covid-19 was declared a pandemic in March, most brands pulled their influencer marketing budgets or held on campaigns until they had more clarity as to what was going to happen.
December 1, 2020
As Senior Vice President of People Development at LiveIntent, Abby Hamilton works to create cutting-edge talent programs with a digital-first mindset. Her critical HR work helps to fuel LiveIntent’s lasting partnership on numerous Ad Council campaigns, including Coronavirus Response, Love Has No Labels and Autism Awareness. A leader in the email marketing space, the organization works to place Ad Council campaigns alongside trusted content within email newsletters from thousands of publishers.
November 16, 2020
This piece was originally published on Ad Age.
November 2, 2020
The Ad Council has been a nonpartisan 501c3 nonprofit for decades. As the country moves through the final hours of an unprecedented voting season, we want to highlight three organizations, More in Common, Civic Alliance and Keep Our Republic, that aim to support democracy and help spread critical messaging within the workplace and among the general public, before, during and after Election Day. We hope these resources will be as useful for you as they have been for us.
October 28, 2020
Within the media, tech and advertising industries, ADCOLOR is widely regarded as today’s best in class when it comes to discussing, celebrating and championing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the corporate sphere. Each year, ADCOLOR hosts the ADCOLOR Awards, ADCOLOR Conference and the well-known ADCOLOR FUTURES program, all with the aim of promoting diversity and inclusion with the creative industries.
October 27, 2020
As the senior vice president of talent strategy and program development at the ANA Educational Foundation, which aims to educate and inspire the next generation of advertising talent, Elliot Lum draws on a 20-year marketing background that includes working as a brand manager for Colgate and as head of partnerships for Columbia Records. This summer, Elliot was a critical partner on our “Fight the Virus, Fight the Bias” campaign, which addresses the rise in anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. We talked to Elliot about what he’s learned from his career—and from 2020.
October 21, 2020
With less than 20 days remaining until the 2020 presidential election, advertising campaigns across the country encouraging voter engagement have sped into high gear. And rightly so—the election was on track for historic voter turnout as a result of record voter enthusiasm until the COVID-19 pandemic.
October 19, 2020
As Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month nears a close, the Ad Council is looking forward to ending it on a high note this Thursday at Hispanicize’s #UnidosTogether Virtual Summit, the largest virtual gathering of Latinx influencers, content creators, entrepreneurs and advertising industry leaders. Speakers at this Thursday’s event range from figures like Aaron Walton (CEO, Walton Isaacson) and Victor Ramos (LATV host and lifestyle guru) to Bamby Salcedo (Founder, Translatin@ Coalition) and Julissa Calderon (actress, writer and producer). The summit takes place Thursday, October 15, from noon to 5pm, EST, and registration is free. Here are three conversations you shouldn’t miss!
October 12, 2020
The Ad Council is proud to partner with Variety on season two of “Rebooting the Entertainment Industry,” a series of panels that explore the difficult road ahead. How will the industry reckon with systemic racism and inequity? What are the short- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic? What about streaming—will we ever go to the movies like we used to? And what will the stories we see on screen look like?
October 8, 2020
Racial justice, COVID-19, gun safety, the role of AI in accelerating public good—we stand at an unprecedented nexus of urgent issues, many of them intertwined, and we’re looking forward to sharing critical conversations with partners and thought leaders on these topics at Advertising Week 2020. Here are the four panels we at the Ad Council are looking forward to participating in. See you online.
September 30, 2020
There’s never been a more important time to encourage people to talk about their health. These health info graphics can help get the conversation started!
September 28, 2020
Alex Levin is a founding partner and Director of Strategy at L+R, an international digital design studio and brand strategy consulting firm based in Brooklyn. He has served on the Ad Council’s UX Committee since 2017, during which time he has guided discussions to fine-tune the websites of several of our campaigns, including Alzheimer’s Awareness, Love Has No Labels, Youth Vaping Prevention and Seize the Awkward.
September 16, 2020
In the months following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, and amid continued police brutality and violence inflicted upon Black lives across the U.S.—most recently in Wisconsin—social media has become a virtual classroom for those looking to reflect on their own racist tendencies.
August 27, 2020
Kyle Wong is the CEO of the award-winning UGC and influencer marketing platform Pixlee, which has played an important role in our Love Has No Labels and She Can Stem campaigns by providing the technology that powers community submissions. Recently, Pixlee partnered on our #AloneTogether campaign, helping people stay connected while staying home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Kyle is also a member of the Ad Council’s Leadership Council.
August 13, 2020
According to a study by The Center for Generational Kinetics and commissioned by WP Engine, 72% of Gen Z is more likely to support a company that contributes to social causes. Gen Zs are acutely aware that in today’s digital world, anyone can use their voice to ignite change, and that includes brands—who aren’t just expected to take a socially responsible stand, they’re expected to mean it.
August 11, 2020
Starting in June 2020, the Ad Council and NowThis partnered to host livestream conversations about critical topics involving COVID-19 and America’s reckoning with systemic racism. We’ll continue to update our Facebook playlist as new livestreams occur each Wednesday at 1pm EST—follow us there so you won’t miss the next one.
August 7, 2020
Following the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and others, the rampant anti-Black racism, police brutality and systemic injustice in America has become clearer than ever. The New York Times recently reported that Black Lives Matter may be the largest movement in U.S. history, and recent polls suggest that 15 to 26 million Americans have attended protests this summer.
July 29, 2020
From April 1 to April 7, there were more than 1.7 million online mentions of mental health originating in the U.S. When we focus on those who expressed worry over the mental health of our nation (as opposed to discussing their personal state), a surge in concern is seen in early March, coinciding with the WHO’s declaration of the pandemic on March 11th and President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on March 13th, as seen in figure 1 below. Worries continued to climb as U.S. cities began imposing restrictions, infections grew, and unemployment soared.
May 20, 2020
This story, New Data: How Low-Income Minority Americans are Coping with COVID-19, was originally published by Aspen Ideas: Health.
May 18, 2020
COVID-19 has challenged all of us to be exceptionally quick and focused with our communications. Fortunately, experts across industries have never been more generous with sharing insights into the best ways to communicate to audiences about how to keep themselves and others safe.
May 15, 2020
On March 11, the clock ran out on our cultural sense of normalcy. When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the NBA reacted quickly, putting fan safety first by canceling the remainder of the season, and other pro sports leagues quickly followed—as did college sports. With stadiums and time slots left empty and billions of dollars in potential ad revenue lost, networks and live sports sponsors quickly pivoted.
April 30, 2020
Long before I became an assistant campaign manager at the Ad Council, I was a macaroni-and-cheese loving, horseback riding, extremely timid half-Asian girl in a coastal Connecticut town, raised by an English, Polish, Hungarian, Welsh, Swedish, German mother and a Chinese father. I never thought much about my identity until second grade, when I heard a racist remark from a classmate about how my lunch smelled. I noticed I had been targeted because of my race, not because of my personality or character. I asked myself, how can you judge a person without knowing them?
April 16, 2020
This story, 5 Ways Marketers Can Mobilize and Find Inspiration During the Pandemic, was originally published by Adweek.
April 6, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, the Ad Council has mobilized quickly. Together with the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Health and Human Services, the White House, and the country’s leading broadcast media, digital, and out-of-home companies, we’ve created and distributed urgent messaging to the American public about how we all can help slow the spread.
April 3, 2020
Earlier this month, She Runs It hosted a discussion between the Ad Council’s own Chief Media Partnerships Officer Kathy Kayse and TV ad exec Donna Speciale. In this illuminating talk, the two chatted about adapting to change, the impact of female leadership, and the lessons learned from two successful careers in media and advertising.
March 16, 2020
From its negative effect on the stock market to employers rethinking the way we work to the mad dash at the grocery store for toilet paper, coronavirus is changing how our world functions. But all hope is not lost.
March 12, 2020
Ad Council's Video Game Partnership with Guild Wars 2 Increases Player Engagement on Mental Health Awareness
Our Seize the Awkward campaign recently launched a partnership with Guild Wars 2 for their Friend/Ships celebration, and we’ve been seeing great engagement from players so far! Guild Wars 2 publisher NCSOFT created a t-shirt that players can have their in-game characters wear, to raise awareness of how friends can help and support one another through hard times. They also produced a moving video in which Guild Wars 2 community members share how their friends have helped them.
February 25, 2020
John Dodini is Head of Business Development at Gfycat and our latest Champion for Good. Read on to learn about his favorite social good advertising campaigns, collaboration with the Ad Council and the advice he'd give to his younger self!
February 18, 2020
Five years ago, the Ad Council took on an anti-discrimination campaign which quickly turned into Love Has No Labels—a movement to celebrate diversity, inclusion and belonging across race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender and religion. In partnership with R/GA, we launched Skeletons in 2015; since then the cultural climate (and the number of brands talking about diversity & inclusion) has changed quite significantly. But our message remains—love is the most powerful force to overcome bias and discrimination.
February 14, 2020
The Oscars last night had a blend of the many challenges and triumphs seen in previous years. The majority of the winners, as well as the nominees, fell into a common thread of mostly white, and mostly male - a trend that was only slightly changed in last year’s encouraging moments of firsts for many diverse and unrecognized communities.
February 10, 2020
Nothing says more about the overall trends in the advertising world than Super Bowl ads, which is why it was telling to see a shift from the social good tone of the last few years to this game’s goofier, celeb-filled spots. Nonetheless, a few companies stuck to the theme of purpose with great results.
February 4, 2020
Our newest Champion for Good is Craig Narveson, General Manager, US at Kahoot! His passion for social good and advice for finding your own personal happiness will leave you inspired. Read on to see for yourself!
January 27, 2020
In this industry, cultural context is everything. A new creative campaign that sounds good in a conference room can play out much differently than intended when it lands in the real world. One key to success is anticipating the landscape even as it constantly evolves. In the year ahead, these 11 quotes are sure to be on everyone’s lips – and marketers should pay attention
January 24, 2020
On January 20, 2020, as we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we’ll also be celebrating the 25th anniversary of MLK Day being designated as a national day of service. As the only federal holiday that is also a day of service, MLK Day invites Americans to go out and volunteer in their own communities – “a day on, not a day off.”
January 17, 2020
It’s 2020 and odds are, even if you haven’t used TikTok before, you’ve at least heard of it, or possibly even seen a few TikTok videos for yourself (one of my personal favorites is the always classic Kombucha Girl). The short-form video app has not only become a social media sensation but also a cultural force that has changed the way we both use and consume media.
January 15, 2020
Our latest Champion for Good was fascinated with Smokey Bear as a nine-year-old and daydreamed about being his spokesperson. Fast forward to the present and Brandon Cooke, Global Chief Communications Officer at FCB, just wrapped helping us celebrate Smokey's 75th year. Get to know this longtime Ad Council supporter below!
January 14, 2020
Adam Robinson is Senior Director of Social Responsibility at ViacomCBS and a great advocate for the Ad Council and our public service communications. See what Adam had to say about creating impact and pursuing your passions.
January 3, 2020
David Chitel is the CEO and founder of NGL Collective, a media production company specializing in connecting advertisers to New Generation Latinos (NGLs) though video. David has been instrumental in aiding our High School Equivalency campaign and we couldn't be more excited to name him our latest Champion for Good! Get to know him below.
December 18, 2019
This viral rumor, “Think Before You Donate,” negatively impacts Goodwill’s good reputation and brand
We’ve all heard the term "fake news" in modern media, which has many subjective connotations, but there's a truly malicious falsehood going around the internet about national charities — and it needs to be taken seriously. It first came out as an email and then morphed into a social graphic, which has been circulating for nearly 15 years. Social media allows people to perpetuate the "Think Before You Donate" graphic without validating the content. This graphic holds a collection of false statements about a number of charitable organizations, including Goodwill®, and claims to expose inflated salaries and financial mismanagement.
December 13, 2019
Rob Erskine is VP, Lead Creative Technologist at Hill Holliday and our latest Champion for Good. He's worked on numerous Ad Council campaigns and us is also a member of our UX Advisory committee. Get to know him below!
December 11, 2019
Marketers have been targeting (and retargeting) us for years based on our online behaviors, our preferences, our demographics, and even our geolocations. For the marketing professional, reaching the right audience, at the right time, and in the right place is critical to success. For the consumer, relevant advertising helps streamline our lives, providing us with unquestionable, albeit creepy, convenience.
December 9, 2019
Every year, we recognize the industries and individuals who support the Ad Council and our public service campaigns at our Annual Public Service Award Dinner, but we also highlight the everyday individuals who have been impacted by the work that we do – putting a human face to the pressing issues we work to solve and providing inspiration to change-makers everywhere.
December 6, 2019
Two weeks ago, the Ad Council’s Analytics team traveled to Las Vegas for the 2019 annual Tableau Conference. Alongside 20,000 other attendees, we joined sessions to advance our data analysis skills, connect with other data enthusiasts, and expand our industry knowledge. And – as always, we left inspired.
December 3, 2019
For the holidays this year, brands are inviting us to buy into the spirit of the season with ads promoting kindness, friendship and joy. These heartfelt messages offer a refreshing reminder of the power of emotional storytelling to connect us with what matters most. To celebrate purposeful promotions, we’ve put together a few of our favorite festive ads spreading holiday cheer this year.
November 27, 2019
Last week our Mental & Physical Health Employee Resource Group, “The Mighty,” hosted a company wide Winter Wellness Week. The week was a part of the larger goal of the Mighty to provide a safe and supportive space where employees can be vulnerable and encouraged to discuss mental and physical health, reducing stigma and silence around these areas. The week featured an expert who discussed ways to re frame stress, community discussions, as well as newsletters to help support employee well-being throughout the winter season. This week on the blog, we wanted to share with you one of those newsletters about how the season change can affect our mental and physical health.
November 22, 2019
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women and men, but survival rates are four times higher when lung cancer is detected early. With this in mind, we here at the Ad Council knew we had to take on this important issue and encourage those who are at high risk for lung cancer to get screened.
November 18, 2019
When I speak with my peers in social media marketing and read the online chatter, a lot of the conversation revolves around Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sometimes with a sprinkling of Pinterest, Snap, and LinkedIn. But in my experience, there is one social platform that is too rarely part of the discussion: Reddit.
November 15, 2019
When social media first started, we used the platforms as intended: to share literally everything – what we were doing, what we were eating, where we were, and even what we were feeling, moment by moment.
November 14, 2019
Purpose of Purpose Series: The Ad Council's Lisa Sherman Leads a Conversation on Driving Voter Turnout
This story, Purpose of Purpose Series: The Ad Council's Lisa Sherman Leads a Conversation on Driving Voter Turnout, was originally published on Ad Age.
November 8, 2019
“A human is worth more if they’re addicted, polarized, outraged, misinformed and narcissistic because that’s better for producing an effect in human attention.” This strong statement from Tristan Harris describes the era of attention capitalism and it catapulted the day for one of Bloomberg’s largest tech events. At “Sooner Than You Think” (STYT), technologists, policymakers, educators and journalists gathered to talk about the impact of technology on our society and the balance between innovation and obligation in the industry.
November 4, 2019
Data and analytics have dramatically changed the advertising industry’s ability to assess and understand human behavior, allowing marketers to better reach and speak to their audiences. Despite its negative press coverage in the past months, data can be used for much more than just selling you that new pair of shoes (I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but you don’t need that new pair of shoes!). Data-backed communications can be used strategically in creating change across some of the most pressing issues of today.
November 1, 2019
This story, Lisa Sherman: How my coming out of the 'corporate closet' sparked cultural change, was originally published on NBC News: Know Your Value for National Coming Out Day on October 11th.
October 29, 2019
To celebrate Latinx Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), the Ad Council’s Mosaic employee resource group (ERG) for employees of color hosted their first-ever event, featuring a panel and pop-up shop of Latinx artists.
October 18, 2019
On Friday, Oct. 11, brands and organizations celebrated International Day of the Girl, a day dedicated to highlighting and addressing the challenges girls face, while promoting female empowerment. Girls around the world woke up on Oct. 11 to an energized rallying cry for empowerment and equality. We’re rounding up some of our favorite International Day of the Girl celebrations, from poignant new ads tackling the gender pay gap to online and in-person events that gave girls the chance to connect with each other about the causes they care most about – and we can’t forget this inspirational message from Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex:
October 16, 2019
This story, “Creators For Good: Remi Cruz on Her Health Journey and Staying “Pretty Basic,” was originally published on Tubefilter.
October 9, 2019
I recently attended a panel at New York Advertising Week exploring the role of AI in creative development. Coincidentally, that same week the Ad Council and Leo Burnett also launched our first AI-driven creative on behalf of Feeding America. The spot features a “virtual visage” inspired by the faces of over 1,000 Americans afflicted by hunger. The panel discussion raised interesting questions around the ethics of generating “synthetic media” (algorithmic created or modified media), whether doing this is new, and if it’s better, worse or just different than human output.
October 7, 2019
Greek philosopher Heraclitus likely wasn’t talking about the advertising industry when he said, “Change is the only constant in life,” but he might as well have been. Technology begets the opportunity for continual innovation, presenting both challenges for advertisers as well as ample opportunity. As an organization that operates within a unique donated media model, the Ad Council must find creative ways to navigate some of the industry’s changes. And ad-blocking is one area where our organization has demonstrated how we can successfully do so, by finding donated media ‘diamonds in the rough.’
October 3, 2019
Adverting Week was filled with panels and sessions about the communications and media industries. But as we all know, there was so much learn and so little time to hear all the great conversations taking place - so to help with that we asked our Ad Council staff members to share their top takeaways. Read on to see what their top highlights were and what you should keep in mind for the future of our brands and organizations.
October 2, 2019
Amid the hustle and bustle of Advertising Week in New York City, there were several panels about gender equality and creating space for women at the top. The collective consensus? Women are using the movement-inducing hashtags and talking about the strides we’ve made, but the ultimate outcomes we’ve been requesting seem to not be appearing as fast as we’d like. Events like IAB’s Women Visionaries Town Halls are on a mission to change just that.
September 26, 2019
Headed to Advertising Week? The Ad Council would love to see you there. We’re participating in several panels and events around the intersection of creativity and cause. Check out what we're up to each day and join us!
September 20, 2019
There is no stronger force than when an entire community rallies around the most important causes of the day - and it’s one of the reasons why we love WORLDZ so much. Every year, it brings together the best and brightest media, advertising, and nonprofit organizations by creating an environment for each of them to work together to solve the most pressing issues.
September 18, 2019
Worried about the impact video games are having? Play them together to improve communication and problem-solving skills – all while having fun!
September 12, 2019
As an insights-led consultancy, the magnetic collective has helped the Ad Council reach audiences on public health issues ranging from breast cancer risk education to teen suicide prevention With any work focused on changing mindsets and behaviors, we always start by immersing ourselves in people’s point of view on the topic, and observing the way it plays out in the full context of their daily lives.
September 11, 2019
sparks & honey, a tech-led cultural consultancy, analyzes culture every day in order to identify emerging shifts and help organizations navigate these changes. In doing so, over the last year, never before have we witnessed so many brands lean into social causes. As exciting as this has been, and despite brands' well-intentions, unfortunately not all have hit the mark.
September 6, 2019
Meet our newest Champion for Good: Jane Tucker. Jane works in Brand Partnerships at ATTN:, and her team has been an integral part of championing the Ad Council's causes. See what she had to say about conquering the workforce and the importance of engaging with social communities in a meaningful way.
September 4, 2019