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American Red Cross Launches New Ad Campaign

Self-filmed ads tell emotional stories without scripts, actors

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross today launched a new storytellers ad campaign featuring unscripted stories created and filmed by real people helped by the charity.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

The first ads are part of the organization's holiday giving campaign and feature people impacted by home fires and flooding.

Additional TV and print ads, which are powerful and personal accounts of how those featured have been touched by the Red Cross, are being released as public service advertisements (PSAs). 

The ads, which tell the stories of people across the country, show the entire scope of the organization's work: blood collection and supply; support to America's military families; help to vulnerable communities around the world; disaster relief; and health and safety training and education.

"We wanted to tell the story of the Red Cross through the people we serve, while at the same time demonstrating the breadth of our mission," said Peggy Dyer, chief marketing officer of the Red Cross. "Many people know the organization for our work in major disaster relief or blood collection, and the goal for this storytelling campaign was to bring our everyday mission to life in a personally relevant way."

The Red Cross enlisted 300 storytellers—people helped by the organization's five lines of service—and gave them cameras, film and one task: tell their Red Cross stories.

The initial wave of Red Cross ads feature two New York families whose homes were destroyed by fire and a Washington family devastated by a flood. Future ads will include stories of a Virginia resident whose newborn twins were saved by a single blood donation; a Michigan teenager whose Red Cross CPR training helped him save a life; and an Oklahoma family who lost their home in a tornado.

The Red Cross worked with creative agency BBDO New York on the concept and opted to have the storytellers speak from the heart and not from scripts, and create the entire pieces themselves from filming their story to hand writing the end card. 

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