It’s a strange Independence Day this year. The cautious optimism of 2016 was replaced with defiance as a string of brands lined up to declare progressive, inclusive bona fides amid divisive directives coming from the White House.
But it feels like companies and customers are tired of the fighting this Fourth of July? Can’t we all just get along? The July 4th ads out now are mostly feel-good spots, highlighting family and fun more than overt declarations, as it were. Here’s a taste of some of the patriotism being served up at this year’s barbecue.
"A Dream Delivered" for Budweiser by VaynerMedia
Before he was Han Solo’s terrible son or Hannah Horvath’s terrible boyfriend, Adam Driver was a U.S. Marine. An injury kept him from deploying to Iraq with his unit, causing him considerable guilt over the years. So the actor was happy to team up with Budweiser and nonprofit Folds of Honor to deliver some good news to a veteran with a similar story and his family. Budweiser has been working with Folds of Honor, which provides scholarships for relatives of disabled or deceased veterans, since 2011.
"Declaration Descendants" for Ancestry by Droga5
What’s more American than a diverse tapestry of faces? Ancestry (née .com) tracked down dozens of people descended from the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence.
"This campaign is literally about speaking to America," Ancestry CMO Vineet Mehra said to Campaign US. "We are just trying to show that through actual fact, through direct lineage, those founding fathers have left behind descendants that are so diverse, come from so many walks of life, that we hope that we can play a small role in shaping and showing America as it is today."
"Wienerfleet" for Oscar Mayer by McGarryBowen
Okay, maybe this spot is more about Americana than America, but on the 4th of July, the Wienermobile is going to be in Wiener, Arkansas, so all is right with the world. Oscar Mayer also reveals that its technicians (mad scientists?) have been busy building entirely new sausage-shaped conveyances.
"As the most iconic brand, we’re going where other hot dogs can’t. We’re committed to getting our new hot dog in everyone’s hands, and going to great lengths to do this. We knew that was a job for more than just our existing Wienermobile," said head of marketing at Oscar Mayer, Greg Guidotti. "So, we’ve expanded our Oscar Mayer fleet, ensuring every American can taste the new recipe because we believe everyone deserves a better hot dog."
"General Howe’s Dog" for Pedigree by BBDO New York
Apparently, this heartwarming story is true, not just apocryphal. While some historians say it just goes to show what a nice guy George Washington was, others point out it would have been a good way to reconnoiter the British camp. Sneaky, George. And cheer up, Hamilton. You’ll get your due.
"The idea that dogs and people have a positive impact on each other remains as relevant today as it was more than 200 years ago," said Brian Nugent, Marketing Director, Dry Dog Food at Mars Petcare. "From the moment we heard the true story of General Howe's dog, we knew it was something that captured the spirit of our "Feed the Good" message. Working with Colonial Williamsburg and Liberty to join us in sharing the story of General Howe's dog makes this a special Independence Day."
"4th of July" by BSSP
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