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Ad Council and NFL team up for latest 'Love Has No Labels' campaign

The Ad Council’s groundbreaking “Love Has No Labels” campaign is back for a third year with a video that puts an American pastime front and center: the kiss cam.

Called “Fans of Love,” the video - which was filmed during the NFL Pro Bowl at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium last month - features a kiss cam scanning the crowd to find couples to feature on the jumbotron. The camera initially lands on a man and a woman, but surprises the crowd when it quickly readjusts to feature two men who embrace and kiss.

Throughout the rest of the film, the kiss cam goes on to feature other real couples, families and friendships that embody the mantra “Love Has No Labels.” Some of the real people featured in the video are two Special Olympians who are best friends, an Orlando Pulse shooting survivor and her girlfriend, and a multiracial family.

The film, which was created in partnership with R/GA, is set to the song “Show Me Love” (Skrillex Remix) featuring Chance the Rapper, Moses Sumney, Robin Hannibal by Hundred Waters.

“’Fans of Love’ is the next powerful and timely part of our ongoing ‘Love Has No Labels’ campaign,” said Nick Law, vice chairman and global chief creative officer of R/GA, in a statement. “Set at a great American event, the Pro Bowl, it’s a reminder that diversity and acceptance is America at its best. Our agency is proud to be involved in continuing this important message.”

Some of the campaign’s brand sponsors include PepsiCo, P&G, State Farm, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Bank of America, Google and Johnson & Johnson. These brands are supporting the initiative by promoting “Fans of Love” content across their channels and funding the campaign. According to the Ad Council, these brand partners will also “show their support during the year through on- and offline activations including, social messaging, social influencer programs, employee engagement, events and more.”

Facebook, ESPN, Vox, Bauer and Little Things are extending the campaign message through donated media support on their respective platforms, while Seventeen, Cosmo, SheKnows and Fatherly are supporting “Fans of Love” by sharing it through their social channels.

“On Valentine’s Day ‘Fans of Love’ highlights that love has the power to bring people together regardless of our differences – a message that is more important now than ever,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, in a statement. “We hope that this new creative will encourage all of us to reflect on our own biases and the role we can play in creating a more accepting and inclusive world.”

“Love Has No Labels” initially launched in 2015 on Valentine’s Day during an event in Santa Monica, California. The event featured a giant X-ray screen where skeletons could be seen dancing and hugging one another. When the skeletons came out from behind the screen to reveal themselves to the crowd as diverse couples, families and friends, the point of the stunt – that love transcends gender, race, disability, age and religion – became clear to those watching.

The event was filmed and turned into a PSA that quickly went viral. The film currently has more than 60 million views on YouTube and last year won the Outstanding Commercial accolade at the Emmy Awards.

In 2016, John Cena starred in a spot for the campaign called “We Are America” that was released on the Fourth of July. In the video, Cena discusses why patriotism means not just loving one’s country but loving the diverse populations that live within it as well.

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Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she oversees creativity coverage in North & South America and runs The Drum’s weekly “US Creative Works” roundup. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal and has interviewed dozens of creatives for The Drum’s “What does it take to be a great creative?” video series.

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