Employment Management Association Advertising Awards – Best of Show 2002.
In the late summer of 2001, we were working on a recruitment campaign for the Naval Reserve. Basically, the brief was, “Relax. One weekend a month, two weeks a year. It’s like camp, but with free clothes.” We had it all laid out…surfboards, pretty girls…and along comes 9/11. A week passes, and I’m sitting home watching The Blues Brothers in an effort to watch anything other than planes flying into towers. About the time the movie hits the James Brown/Triple Rock Baptist Church-scene, I find myself bawling. Crying so hard, there’s literally a puddle in my lap. And I’m watching this movie and thinking to myself: “James Brown. Aretha Franklin. Ray Charles. Cab Calloway…man, how the #*$& can anyone hate this country that much?”
And that’s how this idea was born. I don’t know how much you know about PSAs, but it’s basically up to the discretion of the station managers as to how much airplay they get. Apparently, this spot set some kind of record. It also won a Best of Show at the Employment Management Awards and got a nice writeup in Fast Company. (http://www.fastcompany.com/49009/masters-design-j-mays)
I still like it. I hope you do, too.