America is struggling through some rough and dark times. Millions of people are out of work, millions have COVID-19, and millions more are working more hours from home than they did at the office.
Clearly, it is time to inject some 1960s idealism into the scene and the best way to do this is with song. Here, let some positive vibes and healing feelings come shining through…
If you could see you
Through my eyes
Instead of your ego
I believe you’d be
Surprised to see
That you’ve been blind, mm-hmm
Now, It’s Lake Street Dive’s Turn
Do you know Lake Street Dive? The band started at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 2004. All the band members were singing and/or playing musical instruments by the time they were in third grade. Consequently, they sound good.
Now, if you wanted to make a commercial that reminded all Americans of our interconnectedness, and at the same time uplift the viewers’ spirits, you might seek a song and singer that are sure to help move people to a better place.
Created pro bono for the Ad Council by ad agency Pereira O’Dell, the public service advertisement features a new cover of the 1968 hit song “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” recorded exclusively for the campaign by Lake Street Dive.
“We were thrilled to contribute music to this campaign because the spirit of it is embedded in our very livelihood,” says Rachael Price, lead singer. “We travel the whole country performing for folks brought together from all backgrounds and countries of origin in order to listen to American music—and music is one of the most powerful ways we can all make connections across our differences.”
The song and the commercial remind audiences that we all know what it feels like to be left out—and for people who moved to this country, that feeling can last more than a moment.
“Being an immigrant myself and having spoken to lots of other immigrants from various countries, I speak firsthand when I say the introduction into this country can be really overwhelming,” said PJ Pereira, Co-Founder and Creative Chairman of Pereira O’Dell. “Every gesture of kindness and inclusion can make a meaningful and lasting impact that will shape your entire life here. Sometimes the smallest action can be the most profound, and that is what we set out to convey in our creative approach.”
The PSAs direct audiences to the campaign website, BelongingBeginsWithUs.org, which features dozens of real stories of belonging from across the country. Built by Viget, a creative digital innovation agency, the website also highlights actions people can take to help others in their community feel that they belong.
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PJ Pereira, co-founder and creative chairman, Pereira O’Dell, wrote a short piece for Campaign. It is powerful.
I was raised as a white man in Brazil. Representation had never been an issue for me. I was well educated, well nourished and had a natural network and a self-image that projected confidence.
Then, just like my ancestors from Lebanon emigrated to Brazil, I moved to America.
Suddenly, I wasn’t the white dude set up for success. People had trouble understanding my accent. My manners, “so passionate,” they said, often hurt my credibility.
While people do understand my Omaha accent (we don’t have one), like Pereira, my passion has at times hurt my credibility. The interesting thing about that is it also reflects poorly back on the passionless judges.
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On Friday, George Tannenbaum unloaded this grenade on his Ad Aged blog.
Advertising today is a business run by people who actually despise the business.
It’s being run by accountants. Insurance people. Operations bots. Professional penny-pinchers. Or communications plumbers working on improving the efficiency of popular annoyance rather than leveraging creativity to sell things.
It’s being run by cynics. People who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
This is why being a refugee from the agency business is a good thing. No one with a creative idea or a backbone can survive the horrendous environments that Tannenbaum describes and so skillfully eviscerates.
Creative people need their freedom from.