The country is talking a lot about what it means to be American in the runup to the election. Media brand Fusion is out to show that America is more than just baseball, apple pie and returning our “greatness.”
Working with creative agency, SS+K, Fusion shows that Americans are amazingly diverse, and that diversity brings beauty and strength. “As American As” shows photos and short videos of Americans of all colors and stripes reveling in who they are, setting the idyllic images of Norman Rockwell and the like on its collective ears.
The videos show today’s generation through people that are “As American As” a cheerleader in a hijab, a Hispanic serving in the military, a proud drag queen in mid-dress, an Asian rapper, a woman dancing in the West Indian Day Parade, two men kissing, and an older woman using medical marijuana.
It’s an America of reality, not one painted by politics or the wants of one particular entity.
"Core to Fusion's DNA is to champion the changing face our country. This campaign celebrates the diverse and inclusive America we live and breathe every day and how we are all a product of many different cultural influences," said Stephen Leps, Vice President Executive Creative Director at Fusion. "As the country has become more diverse, so has the portrait America. We want a new generation, the rising mainstream, to put their fingerprints on this quintessential expression of Americana because we are no longer simply as American as apple pie.”
The images, which are being used in the out-of-home part of the campaign, are purposefully provocative, with a subtext that says “Calling All Voices,” meaning that everyone has a voice in this America. The images came from award-winning New York photographer and filmmaker, Gillian Laub. The campaign recently concluded college campus tour.
"We were proud that in one simple idea we could connect Fusion to their audience in a bold and compelling way,” said Bobby Hershfield, Chief Creative Officer at SS+K, “To modernize an old adage seemed a great way to show how we as a brand accept our country's rich diversity of ideas and behavior.”
Not all of the images were well-received, however. Philadelphia’s transit system, SEPTA, rejected the drag queen image, even though shows no nudity. An out-of-home vendor rejected the two gay men for showing nipples, even though the approved image of the Asian rapper showed nipples as well. Another vendor said that it would run the campaign, but only if the company provided an extra deposit in case angry audiences defaced the bus stop ads.
Out-of-home placements will appear next month in bus shelters and billboards in Philadelphia and Stamford. Wild Posting of the campaign will take place in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and in Venice near Los Angeles.