We are a nation that’s becoming ever more divided, and John Cena is the just person to unite us again.
The Ad Council, which released a three-minute patriotic public service announcement on July 4 starring the massive wrestler-turned-actor, certainly thinks so. In a masterful bit of complicated walk-and-talk, Cena explains that patriotism is more than “flag sequined onesies and rodeos and quadruple cheeseburgers.”
Cena challenges the notion that the typical American is a white middle aged male, rather the country comprises a diverse palette of 319 million people, more than half (51 percent) of whom are female. Another 54 million Americans are Latino and 27 million people disabled. “What’s more American than celebrating what makes us, us?” he asks.
In the end, Cena surmises that patriotism is about love: “Love beyond age, disability, sexuality, religion and any other labels because the second any of us judge people based on those labels, we’re not really being patriotic.”
The PSA is part of R/GA’s “Love Has No Labels” campaign to “encourage people to define their love of country as love of all America,” the agency said in a statement.
The spot has collected 5.9 million views and 167,000 shares within the first 24 hours on Cena’s Facebook page. On the Ad Council’s YouTube page, it garnered 660,000 views. Feel-good publisher Upworthy was also a launch partner and posted the ad to its Facebook page where it garnered 860,000 views.
“The campaign was built to spread at every step of the way: We played to the strength of each social platform, editing the video with social feeds in mind, and uploading natively for the best viewing experience,” Dave Surgan, R/GA’s strategy director, told Digiday.
The comments on Facebook have reacted favorably toward it, more so directed at Cena’s likability factor than the message itself.
“Whoever still hates John Cena after watching this, go away then. This video was a great message from John Cena about USA,” reads a top-liked comment on Facebook. Another person added: “I don’t even know what political party you are and don’t even need to know or care, the words you speak should be how everyone sees things, regardless of party.”
Here’s the ad:
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