Professional wrestler John Cena is no stranger to fighting tough battles.
As a 15-time World champion, he’s squared off against the biggest and baddest that sports entertainment has to offer, and has emerged victorious time and again.
He’s also deeply proud of his American roots, and the combination of his ‘Rise Above Hate’ motto and vocal patriotism has gained him legions of loyal fans both across the USA and around the world.
So it’s little wonder that The Ad Council chose the charismatic grappler as the public face for its latest ‘Love Has No Labels’ campaign video, entitled ‘We Are America.’ And it hits very hard indeed.
Regular readers of our blog will know that it’s rare for us to applaud traditional advertising campaigns – we love to focus on celebrating the very best examples of experiential marketing excellence. But this is simply too good, and powerful, to ignore.
The new Ad Council campaign, which has support from a host of big name brand partners including Coca-Cola, Google and Procter&Gamble, focuses on love, inclusivity, acceptance. In short, it’s all about the United States of America.
And the timing couldn’t be better, with its release coming at a time of great political discord and unrest in the USA in the run up to the 2016 Presidential Election.
Speaking directly to camera for the duration of the video, the WWE star takes a good long look at what patriotism means, and challenges notions of what an “average American citizen actually looks like.” Keep your eyes peeled throughout, and you’ll spot numerous examples of the country’s diverse population appearing subtly in the background.
With 319 million American citizens and counting, many of the statistics he reels off are surprising, and underscore the campaign’s ultimate message: that behind true patriotism lies acceptance of others, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other defining characteristic.
“Labels don’t devalue us; they help define us,” proclaims Cena during his powerful speech. That’s a message that all of us, wherever we find ourselves in the world, can relate to.
Released just in time for Independence Day 2016, it follows last year’s wildly-popular ‘Love Has No Labels’ video released for Valentines Day, which used an experiential digital billboard to great effect to promote diversity and inclusion for all.
And much like Pedigree’s experiential pUp syndrome campaign to challenge perceptions of Down’s syndrome, once again this goes to show marketing’s enormous power for tapping into real issues and influencing change.