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This is a powerful and beautifully shot piece. The agency did a wonderful job in humanizing an extraordinary problem - that our wars are creating soldiers who have suffered catastrophic injuries in service to our nation who are now in need of special services to get some measure of their lives back.
Here’s what I like:
If the problem is that America has been shielded from the impact of war injuries - how profoundly damaged too many of our soldiers are from their military service - then this spot does a wonderful job of articulating that there are too many of these injured soldiers and that they need special accommodations to live comfortably. The mini vignettes introduce us to some of these former soldiers who tell their story and how they need help. In so doing, the spot connects to these men and their problem - adding critical dimension to our understanding of the problem.
The spot begins with close ups, and then in subsequent shots, pans out so we see the extent of the men’s injuries. This has the effect of establishing an all important human connection first before revealing the problem.
I like the way the spot opens with the men talking about the importance of one’s home - which is obviously, something that we all can connect to and agree with. It nicely establishes common ground between the men and viewers.
Here’s what I thought could be better:
I don’t think ‘the ask’ is made clear or strongly enough. We come to understand the problem, but it is far less clear who the organization behind this is, how they are going to help these men, and how the viewer can help. I get some idea about custom homes, but not much beyond that. Do they want me to send them money? Donate something? Oppose war? Lobby Congress for better VA services? What?
It’s too long. I understand the importance of establishing an emotional connection to create a compelling appeal, but the spot and the information in it are so spread out throughout the two minutes so as to both confuse and chance losing attention. My connection was with the men and their physical disabilities. I really didn't connect with the sponsoring organization or their ask of me.
Further, the visuals of the men and their stories overwhelm the voice-over about the organization and the ask.
These two points are a problem because - strategically - the objective of painting a compelling picture is to then leverage the emotions to inspire and move people to DO something. To their credit, the creatives actually get the hardest part done (establishing a compelling emotional connection) done well, but fall a bit short on the easier task (creating awareness of the organization, articulating what they do, and then asking something of the viewer). Many may walk away with heightened awareness of the problem, but without the required knowledge of what to do to help. Not sure myself, when I Googled “Tunnel to Towers - Building for America's Bravest”, I was met with a somewhat confusing message on a page under construction that actually sent me somewhere else to learn more. All of this seems like lost opportunity, particularly for a problem so profound.
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