Several years ago I met Abe Foxman, the brilliant leader of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and it was always a hope of mine that someday we would work together. Abe is fervently devoted to the ADL’s mission of putting an end to bigotry and hatred throughout the world. It is an amazingly lofty goal, but for the past hundred years, the ADL has come closer to realizing it with their efforts to promote a more respectful and inclusive society.
So when Abe asked us to create a video to celebrate the ADL’s 100th anniversary, I jumped at the opportunity. However, then came the challenging task of deciding just what kind of film to create. During our brainstorming, we sadly remembered all the incredible people who died needlessly because of a hate crime. We imagined just how much they could have accomplished, had they been able to live out their lives in peace and dignity.
And then the idea just burst out – well, what if we celebrated these accomplishments- what if we imagined a world without hate.
And what if we were able to underscore these accomplishments with John Lennon’s iconic song, “Imagine.”
Well, the rest, really is history. Because of the power of the idea, SONY and Yoko Ono were so moved, they agreed to help to secure the rights to the song, and the estates of all the victims in the film (Martin Luther King, Matthew Shepard, Anne Frank, etc.) graciously allowed their loved ones to be featured in the video.
We had no media funds, so we released the film virally, yet within six days of the launch we reached over 800,000 YouTube hits (and the numbers keep growing), with myriad Tweets, FB shares and posts from Arianna Huffington, Ann Curry, Mashable, Ambassador Susan Rice, David Copperfield, MTV, Ricky Martin, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Cory Booker, Moby and Perez Hilton, to name a few.
This is truly a testament to the power of an emotional and disruptive idea, and the passion and vision of the ADL. And who was our demographic target? The entire world of course.
Special kudos to our brilliant creative team, Whitney Pillsbury and Jason Graff, as well as our amazing producer Kirsten Arongino and everyone at PKT, MediaVest , ADL and Regan Communications who worked so hard to make this film and spread it across the globe!
Written by Linda Kaplan Thaler, Chairman — Publicis Kaplan Thaler
“Imagine a World Without Hate” Credits:
CLIENT: Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
AGENCY: Publicis Kaplan Thaler
Linda Kaplan Thaler, Chairman/Executive Creative Director
Rob Feakins, President/Chief Creative Office/
Robin Koval, Chief Executive Officer
Lisa Bifulco, Chief Production Officer
Whitney Pillsbury, Group Creative Director – ART DIRECTOR
Jason Graff, Group Creative Director – COPY WRITER
Gerry Killeen, Director of Creative Services
Kirsten Arongino, Executive Producer
Susie Lodise, Group Account Director
Michael Sandler, Account Supervisor
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Digital Kitchen
Eric Oldrin, Executive Producer
Matt Mulder, Executive Creative Director:
Josh Hayward, Creative Director
Slavka Kuehn, Editor
Paul Williamson, Producer
Koji Minami, Designer:
Ryan Gagnier, Designer
Morgan Henry, Director of Photography
Follow Linda Kaplan Thaler on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaThaler
About Publicis Kaplan Thaler
Publicis Kaplan Thaler is a fully integrated advertising agency with digital, social and technology at its core. With over 650 employees, it is the flagship of Publicis Worldwide in the USA, the North American operating unit of Publicis Worldwide, the largest global agency network within Publicis Groupe. The Agency’s blue-chip client roster includes: Procter & Gamble, CITI, Nestlé, Merck, Pfizer, TriHonda, Wendy’s, L’Oréal, AFLAC, and NAPA Auto Parts, among others. To learn more about Publicis Kaplan Thaler, follow @PKTtweets, like on Facebook or visit pkt.com.
About The Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.