As part of the Ad Council’s ongoing “Game for Good” initiative, the organization announced a new partnership between its Emmy®-Award winning Love Has No Labels campaign and Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics, developers of the popular Marvel’s Avengers game. The digital-first national marketing and PSA campaign leverages one of the core themes of Marvel’s Avengers, “united we are powerful,” directing fans to lovehasnolabels.com/PlayAvengers for resources and actions that help create more inclusive and accepting spaces within their communities.
The new fully integrated campaign will feature TV, digital video, out-of-home, and digital banners featuring characters from the Marvel’s Avengers game as well as real gamers, encouraging Americans to create a more accepting world by coming together to embrace their differences. In addition to Marvel’s Avengers characters Ms. Marvel, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow, the video features a diverse coalition of Twitch gamers championing a message of unity, including BrolyLegs, FaZe Ewok, Mica Burton, Parris Lilly and Stella Chuu. Rolling out through the Fall, all media, digital and social support will be donated, per the Ad Council model, empowering audiences to get to know one another on a deeper level.
“During a time when we can’t physically be with one another, many have found joy and comfort in connecting with others around the world through gaming. We are thrilled to collaborate with Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix to foster connection and inspire millions to come together and celebrate their differences through the inspiring story of the Marvel’s Avengers game.” said Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman. “Everyone’s superpower is unique, but what unites us all is the power to create a more accepting and inclusive world.”
In an epic single player story and multiplayer game, Marvel’s Avengers introduces us to Kamala Khan – or Ms. Marvel – as the lead protagonist whose journey to reassemble the Avengers leads her to embrace her powers, becoming an Avenger herself. Kamala Khan was first realized in the comics by writer G. Willow Wilson, artists Adrian Alphona and Jamie McKelvie, and editors Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker in 2013. She’s played by Sandra Saad in the Marvel’s Avengers game. Her role as the point-of-view character for the game’s core narrative puts the spotlight on Marvel’s first-ever Muslim female Super Hero to lead her own comic series.
Marvel’s Avengers offers players a truly rich experience and combines the single player-focused Reassemble story campaign with the ongoing Avengers Initiative’s expanding universe, which take the Avengers around the world and beyond. Each mission in the Reassemble campaign is designed to showcase one or more Super Hero’s unique abilities, while the Avengers Initiative missions can be played solo with your own custom AI team or with a group of up to four players as any Super Hero in the player’s roster.
“Gamers are a diverse group of passionate people of all types, many of whom are used to being misjudged based on identity labels,” said Scot Amos, Head of Studio at Marvel’s Avengers developer Crystal Dynamics. “The goal for the campaign with Ad Council is to have us get to know one another on a deeper level and uncover our shared humanity. Our hope is that we can create real, lasting connections and a more accepting world through conversations about who we really are.”
Love Has No Labels’ brand partners include Bank of America, Google/YouTube, Johnson & Johnson, State Farm® and Walmart. Non-profit partners who continue to be instrumental in lending their expertise and support to the Love Has No Labels campaign include: AARP, American Immigration Council (AIC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Disability: IN, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and Unidos US.
The Love Has No Labels campaign first launched nationally in 2015 with a video of skeletons dancing and embracing before coming out from behind an x-ray screen to reveal themselves as diverse couples, friends and families. The original “Love Has No Labels” video became the first PSA to win an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial and received more than 169 million views making it the second most viewed social activism video of all time. In 2016, it was followed by “We Are America” featuring WWE® Superstar John Cena celebrating the diversity of America on Independence Day. In 2017, Love Has No Labels put a twist on the kiss cam by turning it into a symbol for unbiased love with “Fans of Love.” The campaign launched its first short film in 2018 with “Rising,” written by Lena Waithe (The Chi, Master of None) and directed by David Nutter (Game of Thrones), asking the question, “why does it take a disaster to bring us together?” In June 2020 Love Has No Labels took a clear stance against racial injustice with “Fight For Freedom,” revealing the stark contrast of the simple freedoms that many take for granted and the systemic racism Black people face every day in America. Most recently, the campaign launched “Fight the Virus. Fight the Bias.” to combat hateful rhetoric that the API community is experiencing amid COVID-19. In total, the campaign’s five videos have exceeded 390 million online views.
Since the Love Has No Labels campaign’s initial video launched in March 2015 there have been over 13.5 million U.S. sessions on lovehasnolabels.com. Since the launch of the campaign, significantly more adults agree that they can create a more accepting and inclusive environment (61% in March 2015 to 75% in June 2020), according to a survey commissioned by the Ad Council and conducted by Ipsos, Public Affairs. To date, the campaign has received more than $120 million in donated media.