Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on Texas and Louisiana – millions of people have been displaced and many have lost everything. In response to the devastation, the Ad Council (with help from actor Matthew McConaughey) has released new public service advertisements (PSA) to encourage Americans to make monetary contributions to relief efforts.
The first PSA utilizes stop-motion animation of a dollar bill being molded into shapes that will assist in the recovery efforts, such as building materials, medical devices and houses. It directs audiences to visit HurricaneHarveyAid.org, where they can contribute to the rescue and recovery efforts by donating to organizations providing necessary supplies and services to those affected by Harvey.
The PSA demonstrates how donating money is the best way to help in the wake of a disaster like this one. Cash enables relief organizations on the ground to purchase the materials they need most urgently, from medical supplies to building materials. Unlike donated goods, cash funds can quickly and easily reach the areas affected by a disaster.
"When we see the suffering caused by a storm of this magnitude, we are all moved to lend a hand," said Lisa Sherman, president and chief executive of the Ad Council. "The most effective way people can help is through financial donations to the amazing organizations that are providing aid and support on the front lines."
The second PSA, 'Texas Strong' was done in partnership with Texas-based ad agency GSD&M. In it, the Texas flag is pictured. We hear the noises of relief efforts as animation makes the blue in the flag rise like flood waters and covers the flag. As the water receeds, the voice of actor and proud Texan Matthew McConaughey comes on and says: "Harvey can't mess with Texas, so donate now to make Texas whole again."
GSD&M is working with the Ad Council to distribute other new TV and digital out-of-home PSAs to help support relief efforts.
"GSD&M is proud to support disaster relief efforts and help however we can in times of national emergencies," said Duff Stewart, chief executive of GSD&M. "Hurricane Harvey has caused massive devastation along the Gulf Coast and in times like these community means more than ever. We stand with all of the victims impacted by the catastrophe and will do whatever we can to help."
The Gulf Coast has experienced destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and dangerous storm surges. Some areas have experienced more than 50 inches of rainfall. Homes and businesses have suffered billions of dollars in damage, largely due to flooding. In Texas alone, over 30,000 people have sought emergency shelter, and over 13,000 people have been rescued from dangerous conditions by emergency personnel.
Several organizations came together to donate resources to enable the timely distribution of the PSA campaign, and there are more planned. Extreme Reach, the cloud technology platform for TV & Video ad workflow and Talent & Rights management, donated the digital distributions. Studio Center, a commercial radio production house, donated studio time for the radio spots. Laser Video, a post-production company, donated their editing services for the production of the TV spot.
On the Spot Media, a premier distributor of advertising content across North America, donated the print distribution.
The campaign will run in donated time and space, per the Ad Council's model. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) will promote the PSA to their members on its website, at events and through social media. The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) will promote the PSA through its website, e-newsletter, and social media.
The PSAs are an extension of the Ad Council's partnership with USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and CIDI (Center for International Disaster Information) designed to be used in times of crisis to encourage people to make effective donations in support of domestic and international relief efforts.