Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the current work they think is the best out in the ad world – the ads and campaigns they think are making a difference. Each week The Drum is featuring the words of a creative director or other top creative on the work they find funny, powerful or otherwise engaging.
This week, Sandy Greenberg, co-founder and executive creative director at New York agency Terri & Sandy, talks about how the Martin Agency altered a proud Virginia sate slogan to take a stand for love and inclusion. See what she said below.
"Virginia." In the past weeks, the mere mention of the name conjures up visions of white nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan marching with tiki torches, spewing hateful venom like, “Jews will not replace us,” “White Lives Matter,” and “Unite the Right.”
As these shocking phrases echoed across America, the Martin Agency decided to wield a slogan of its own. Tapping into Virginia’s more welcoming roots, Martin harkened back to a campaign the agency had created back in 1969, “Virginia is for Lovers.” Only this time they tweaked the classic tagline to read “Virginia is for everyone” and added #standforlove.
With this simple action, Martin turned perhaps the most recognized tourism line of all time into a call for tolerance and diversity. It was a powerful way to tell visitors and locals alike that the horrific events witnessed in Virginia should not define Virginia.
Interestingly, the Martin Agency is no longer the agency for the Virginia Tourism Corporation and had to ask permission to use the old logo and reference the classic campaign. There are many reasons the Virginia Tourism Corporation could have declined, but instead it immediately got behind the idea, spreading the campaign on Instagram, inviting their fans to share photos and videos tagged #standforlove to reinforce that Virginia is welcoming to everyone and that the state stands for love.
While nothing can erase the horrors that occurred in Charlottesville, this response is one of many non-violent acts that reflect the best of our country. America is the home of 'free speech' and, given the enormous talent that resides in the advertising industry, we should seek opportunities to speak out for a more just, inclusive world.
Sandy Greenberg is co-founder and executive creative director at independent New York agency Terri & Sandy.
To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, please visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you or your creative director would like to be featured in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Kyle O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.