I love the Y.
When I used to live in Barrington IL, most mornings — except the god-awful ones that started at 80 below — began with a 5:30 AM trip to the YMCA, which was right down the street from my house.
My daughter Max, was on the Y’s gymnastics team all through elementary and middle school. Chloe took a brief stint in karate there. Both girls went to camp.
We were a Y family. A part of their community. So imagine how pleased I was to stumble across this new spot from Droga5 for, you guessed it, The YMCA.
The Chicago-based not-for-profit organization isn’t turning its back on the fact these are polarizing times in America. And we are all the better for it.
Last year, the Chicago-based not-for-profit launched its first nationwide advertising campaign in history, with the slogan “For a better us.” The campaign was designed to raise awareness about the Y’s work as one of the most impactful and long-standing charitable organizations in the country.
For the second phase of the campaign, Droga5 decided to probe just how important “us” really is, which is so important during these polarizing, angry times.
This new anthem film takes viewers on a journey that explores what the idea of “Us” means in America, the ways in which our bonds are currently eroding, and how the Y can help make them whole again with safe places, community outreach, mentorship, volunteerism and more. Watch the 90-second version below:
“Us” is based on a key insight about the things people across the country are experiencing, from anxiety to social isolation, to a lack of empathy,” said Valerie Barker Waller, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Y-USA. “We want the country to know that, among the daily struggles, the Y is there—to bring people together, to help find common ground and to address pressing social issues that so many communities are facing.”
The campaign includes several radio spots, digital assets and social media content, all which feature kids, adults and families who are members of the Y. These assets will run across several radio and digital channels as well as a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
To support the campaign, the Y is encouraging members to meet someone new, learn about who they are, where they have come from, and showcase the diversity and positivity of Y members.
On September 28th, Y members were asked to take a #SelfieWithSomeoneNew, take a photo with someone they’ve just met at the Y, use the hashtag to post on their social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The goal is to have Y members share each of your stories and why it’s important to engage with fellow members of your community and what it means to come together at the Y.
What I love most about this uplifting spot, directed by Malik Vitthal, is that how genuine it feels. The cinematography is both beautiful and gritty, putting the viewer in some intense situations.
The idea that Americans need to find common ground to the many issues tearing cities and towns apart is profound and just true. And this campaign makes the Y bigger than just a gym. It positions it as a haven for the community. All in the community. And that’s why it’s RAW for this week.
NY Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director: Kevin Brady
Group Creative Director: Casey Rand
Group Creative Director: Karen Short
Copywriter: Gabe Sherman
Art Director: Gage Young Jr
Copywriter: Patrick Newman Jr
Art Director: Sonja Johnson Jr
Copywriter: James Gross Jr
Art Director: Gianna D’Amico
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Co-Directors of Film Production: Jesse Brihn, Bryan Litman
Producer, Film: Gabija Blake
Associate Producer, Film: Tony Xie
Music Supervisor: Mike Ladman
Director of Business Affairs: Jocelyn Howard
Integrated Business Affairs Manager: Keith Marman
Associate Director of Interactive: Justin Durazzo
Executive Producer, Interactive: Tasha Cronin
Executive Producer, Experiential: Bo Djogo
Producer, Interactive: Aaron Matys
Director of Art Production: Cliff Lewis
Art Producer: Nichole Katsikas
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Co-Head of Strategy: Colm Murphy
Strategy Director: Jennifer Lange
Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
Senior Communications Strategist: Hillary Fink
Communications Strategist: Mark Longacre
Chief Intelligence Officer: Amy Avery
Senior Data Strategist: Brad Mumbrue
Junior Data Strategist: Alexandra Grant
Head of Account Management: Dan Gonda
Account Director: Amanda Chandler
Account Manager: Susannah Wherry
Project Manager: Meredith Robinson
Client: The Y
SVP, Chief Marketing Officer: Valerie Waller
Creative Director: Wendy Currie
Marketing Director: Joi Freeman
Graphic Designer: Yoshiki Araya
Video and Multimedia Producer: Jeff Saunders
Communications Manager: Dorothy Mora
Production Company: Corner Shop
Director: Malik Vitthal
DOP: Ashley Connor
Executive Producer: Anna Hashmi
Producer: Jennifer Duffy
Editorial Work Editorial Editor: Adam Robinson
Assistant Editor: Theo Mercado
Executive Producer: Erica Thompson
Producer: Sari Resnick
Post Production: Blacksmith
Executive Producer: Charlotte Arnold
Producer: Alexa Mauro Lead
2D Artist: Daniel Morris
2D Artist: Steve Koenig
2D Artist: Margolit Steiner
2D Artist: Jay Lee
Colorist: Tom Poole
Producer: Alexandra Lubrano
Music Composition: Minbal
Composer: Benjamin Balcom
Sound: Sonic Union
Mixer: Michael Marinelli
Radio Mix: Paul Weiss
Producer: Patrick Sullivan, Justine Cortale
Photographer: Landon Speers
Production Company: Urban NYC
Have a spot or campaign that you think is RAW? Email Colin at email@example.com.