Magazine article ADWEEK

Ad Council Marks 9/11 with Immigrants' Tales; Stars of Newest 'Freedom' Effort Go to Bat for U.S

Magazine article ADWEEK

Ad Council Marks 9/11 with Immigrants' Tales; Stars of Newest 'Freedom' Effort Go to Bat for U.S

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON Tom Tor escaped the "killing fields" of Cambodia. Eugenia Dallas fled genocide in the Soviet Union under Stalin. Yuri Gevorigian evaded torture in Armenia.

Their stories are part of a campaign that breaks today in the Ad Council's "Freedom" PSA effort, coinciding with the second anniversary of Sept. 11. Directed by Joe Pytka, the three 30-second spots--"Tom," "Eugenia" and "Yuri" were created by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mother in New York. A 60-second iteration of the three commercials, as well as radio spots, are part of the mix.

Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\ Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., created a concurrent print effort. The tangoing tagline, "Freedom. Appreciate it. Cherish it. Protect it," remains.

"The whole project started with trying to find people who had come to this country from places where freedom is a much scarcer commodity," said Chris Wall, senior partner and co-head of the creative department at Ogilvy. "We didn't want ad writers writing this. We wanted people telling stories."

Wall and Phil Dusenberry, former chairman of BBDO North America and head of the Ad Council's creative task force on the campaign, considered about 40 immigrant interviews compiled by Ogilvy before narrowing to the final three.

"We were looking for people whose stories were unusual and compelling," said Dusenberry. "We wanted people you could relate to and feel good about."

As Tor, Dallas and Gevorigian discuss their experiences, images of the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial and excerpts from the Constitution appear behind them. …

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