Thursday, May 22, 2008

Announcements: PSAs for Arts Education

Check out the contents of this press release that I received today from Americans for the Arts:

Americans for the Arts, Ad Council
and the NAMM Foundation
Launch New PSAs Championing Arts Education

National Ads debut at The New England Institute of Art and will be promoted locally by more than 275 arts organizations across the country

The Advertising Council joined Americans for the Arts and the NAMM Foundation today to announce the launch of a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to promote the benefits of arts education. The PSAs, part of the award-winning “The Arts. Ask for More.” campaign, will debut at Advertising that Changed a Nation, an exhibit opening this week at the New England Institute of Art in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The arts provide children with life skills that are a foundation to their and our nation’s future success. According to key findings from a forthcoming report conducted by The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators, an overwhelming majority of school superintendents and employers (99 and 97 percent respectively) agree that creativity is increasingly important in the workforce and that an art training is crucial to developing creativity. However, according to the research, most schools in our country only provide arts training on an elective basis. Additionally, a 2005 Harris Poll reported that 40 percent of parents say they do not know how to get involved with promoting arts education.

Launched in 2002, the original “Art. Ask for More.” campaign was the first national PSA effort designed to promote the arts as a vital part of a well-rounded education for our nation’s children and promoted parental involvement in championing arts education both in and out of schools. Created pro bono by Leo Burnett, this second series of television, radio, print and Web ads feature a new creative strategy that encourages parents to “feed their children the arts” with a bowl of “Raisin Brahms” or a serving of “VanGoghgurt” for breakfast. The ads speak to the benefits of getting a daily dose of the arts, which include increased test scores, better creative thinking, patience, and determination, all skills that are fundamental to a child’s education and development. The PSAs end with the tagline: “The Arts. Ask for More.”

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Americans for the Arts for this second series of PSAs designed to help parents recognize the value of the arts in their children’s lives,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “This clever strategy of depicting the arts as nourishment will show parents that the arts are integral to their child’s development and an important foundation for their future.”

The PSAs direct parents to visit where they will find 10 simple ways on how to include the arts in their children’s lives, including registering their children for school and community programs, reinforcing the benefits of the arts in their conversations, and communicating the importance of the arts with teachers, principals and elected officials. The site also features an Online Resource Center to help parents, teachers, school board leaders, and advocates increase the presence and quality of arts education in the schools. All creative ads for the campaign are available for viewing on the websites of both Americans for the Arts ( and the Ad Council (

“Appreciation and involvement in the arts is an essential educational goal for the 21st century, and this campaign gives parents the tips and tools for providing more arts education opportunities for their children in both school and their communities,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

“We wanted to develop a campaign that displayed cultural insight in a way that reinforces the importance of the arts in a child’s life,” said Richard Roche, SVP, Account Director at Leo Burnett. “Our goal was to use our creativity to develop a clever strategy and transform human perception through a compelling series of ads that capture this message.”

More than 275 arts organizations across the country will help promote this campaign to their local media. The television and radio spots are localizable for every community. The campaign, its production and outreach have been made possible by a grant from the NAMM Foundation, which helped to leverage additional needed resources.

The television and radio PSAs are being distributed to stations nationwide in June, while the print and Web ads will be released later this year. Per the Ad Council’s model, all of the PSAs will air and run in advertising time and space that is entirely donated by the media.

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