Creative in association withGear Seven

Love Has No Labels Confronts the Reality of What 'Freedom' Means for Black Americans

Advertising Agency
New York, USA
The Emmy-Award winning campaign from the Ad Council and R/GA delivers message against racial injustice with resources for the American public to take action

To support the ongoing fight for racial justice for the Black community, the Ad Council and R/GA today launched a new PSA from the iconic Love Has No Labels campaign to inspire all Americans to fight for racial equality in America. Building on the campaign's longstanding effort to address bias, the film holds a mirror to the simple acts of freedom often celebrated and taken for granted by non-Black Americans, revealing the stark contrast of those freedoms and the way Black people in this country endure systemic racism and injustice. The campaign ultimately encourages viewers to come together for racial justice, directing to for educational and actionable resources to help continue the work toward equality.

"The campaign's message is very simple yet profound: we all have a role to play in dismantling systemic racism in this country," said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "It's time for Americans to listen, learn and act. While we know these long-simmering problems are nothing new, we want to leverage this moment in time, a national reckoning with race, and inspire change."

Developed pro bono by R/GA, the new PSA opens with idyllic images of America and traditional symbols of freedom – flags draped from windows, children watching fireworks – before highlighting specific moments of simple activities that have led to the harassment or murder of innocent Black lives. Jogging in a neighbourhood, birdwatching in a park, driving, or sleeping safely in one's own bed. Juxtaposing these images, the PSA reminds viewers that before we celebrate the freedom most Americans have, we must fight for the freedom all Americans deserve, that Black lives matter.

The campaign directs to, where individuals can more deeply understand the underpinnings of racism and structural inequality today and what they can do to help end it. This includes ways to get involved locally or with national racial justice organisations and better understand issues like the Black Lives Matter movement, privilege, police reform, and mass incarceration.

R/GA strategist Aaron Harridge stated: "we did this because we are educated to believe that 'freedom' is afforded to all Americans. This isn't true. We wanted to highlight the freedoms that the privileged masses take for granted. To truly achieve 'freedom' and take on the disproportionate systematic racism targeted at the Black community, we must ALL take action." Strategist Brandon Heard added: "For brands, companies, and people that choose to stand behind our message, know that activating allyship is a journey. This is just the beginning of what it looks like to turn privilege into power and to employ that power in an effort to advance the culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion."

Love Has No Labels' brand partners Bank of America, Google, Johnson & Johnson, State Farm and Walmart are supporting the campaign by promoting content across their channels. In addition to funding the campaign, brand partners show their support during the year through online and offline activations including social messaging, custom content creation, employee engagement, events and more.

The integrated campaign will also receive donated media, digital and social support from partners including: AdTheorent, Adtoniq, AMC, The Atlantic, Audiomack, Condé Nast, Cox Communications, Crackle Plus, Criteo, Effectv (Comcast), Facebook, Forbes Media, Future plc, Google, GumGum, J2 Global, LinkedIn, LiveIntent, MiQ, Philo, Pinterest, Pluto TV, Reddit, SHE Media, true[X], TuneIn, Vox Media, Wayfarer Entertainment, YouTube and others. Publicis Media worked pro bono to develop a media strategy and secure targeted donated media placements to extend the campaign's reach. IPG's Matterkind will be executing targeted media through a donated Private Marketplace with The Trade Desk. The new Love Has No Labels creative will also be featured in an upcoming virtual concert with John Legend later this month, in partnership with Wave.

The Love Has No Labels campaign first launched nationally in 2015 with a video of skeletons dancing and embracing before coming out from behind an x-ray screen to reveal themselves as diverse couples, friends and families. The original ‘Love Has No Labels’ video became the first PSA to win an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial and received more than 169 million views making it the second most viewed social activism video of all time. In 2016, it was followed by ‘We Are America’ featuring WWE Superstar John Cena celebrating the diversity of America on Independence Day. In 2017, Love Has No Labels put a twist on the kiss cam by turning it into a symbol for unbiased love with ‘Fans of Love.’ The campaign launched its first short film in 2018 with ‘Rising,’ written by Lena Waithe (The Chi, Master of None) and directed by David Nutter (Game of Thrones), asking the question, ‘why does it take a disaster to bring us together?’ In total, the campaign's four videos have exceeded 380 million online views. 

Since the campaign's initial video launched in March 2015 there have been over 10.5 million US sessions on Since the launch of the campaign, significantly more adults agree that they can create a more accepting and inclusive environment (61% in March 2015 to 74% in April 2020), according to a survey commissioned by the Ad Council and conducted by Ipsos, Public Affairs. To date, the campaign has received more than $110 million in donated media.

To learn more, visit the Love Has No Labels website, view the PSAs on YouTube, join the campaign's social communities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and visit the campaign shop.

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