Premiering last month at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the Ad Council and R/GA launched a series of powerful new films from the iconic Love Has No Labels campaign using real stories to showcase how acts of love can drive inclusion, equity and justice. Building on the campaign’s longstanding effort to address bias, hate, and discrimination, the “Love Lives On” films show how individuals acted with love following instances of hate and injustice, including the murder of George Floyd, alarming rise in violence and harassment toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and the deadly 2016 shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub.
At a time when over half (55%) of adults say race relations in the US are bad  and Americans are looking for ways to act in meaningful ways, the new campaign has an opportunity to further spur movements that help build a more inclusive society and support communities who experience discrimination. Paying tribute to these powerful true stories and the ongoing work toward equity, “Love Lives On” aims to inspire and empower the public to take meaningful action that creates a more accepting and inclusive society across race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and disability.
“In the face of hate and tragedy, it is love that leads to inspired actions that live on, driving the biggest changes in our society. As Bridgett, Maddy and Barbara show us in their stories, we all have the power to make a difference when we choose to act. We’re so honored that that they trusted us to share their experiences – together, we will empower the public to take meaningful actions that create a more accepting and inclusive world,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council.
Created pro bono by R/GA, the four films were developed in close collaboration with the individuals who lived these stories. The films prove that love lives on when you respond to acts of hate, bias and discrimination with intentional acts of love that support communities and create a more inclusive, just, and equitable society. Including one short film directed by Andre Muir, three short-form PSAs directed by Justin Polk and photography from Myesha Evon Gardner, the “Love Lives On” collection features the stories of:
- Bridgett Floyd: George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police made worldwide headlines, propelling the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for racial justice. But the story of him as a family man, mentor and community member has not been widely told. In a heartfelt and deeply personal account, Bridgett Floyd shares the powerful bond between her and her brother. Bridgett celebrates the love, joy, and light that George Floyd brought to his family and the world – and how she has turned the pain of his death into purpose through the establishment of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation. Though his life was tragically cut short by an act of violence and injustice, his legacy and love can live on through each one of us when we continue to fight for racial justice. A short film, titled “Gentle Giant,” telling their story will stream on Hulu. Watch the full-length short film here and a PSA here.
- Maddy Park: As hate, harassment and violence toward Asian Americans drastically increased since the beginning of the pandemic, Maddy Park took action to support her community. In this video, Maddy reveals how she made one simple and intentional choice to act with love, crowdfunding from people of all races and ethnicities to create Cafe Maddy Cab and fund cab rides to get AAPI LGTQ+ people, women and elderly home safe. Watch the PSA here.
- Barbara Poma: In the wake of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, owner Barbara Poma shares how she turned tragedy into hope and love by creating the onePULSE Foundation, a nonprofit established to honor the 49 victims, survivors and all those impacted. onePULSE’s mission is to create and support a memorial that opens hearts, educational programs that open eyes and legacy scholarships that opens doors. Through her tireless work, Poma is ensuring that people use their voice to stand together and educate, bridge gaps and act with love to strengthen our communities. Watch the PSA here.
“This new campaign is just part of a fantastic, long-standing creative partnership we’ve had with the Ad Council to continuously highlight and bring awareness to issues plaguing our society today. From George Floyd to the Pulse Nightclub shooting, we are proud to have developed four heart-wrenching films that not only highlight the history and impact of those events, but was also created by those that identify within the BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and AAPI communities to ensure that authenticity lies at the forefront throughout this campaign. After the last 8 successful years of Love Has No Labels, we’re also incredibly honored to know that these new PSAs have been crafted out of our ever-evolving mission to address bias, hate, and discrimination. We’re also so proud that Bridgett Floyd’s story will launch on streaming platform Hulu, ensuring that all audiences, regardless of whether they identify with the affected communities or not, will be reached with our impactful message,” said Shannon Washington, SVP Head of Creative, R/GA.
“My brother George’s tragic and completely unnecessary death helped shine a worldwide spotlight on the need to address the root causes of racial inequity and end the systemic violence affecting Black Americans through education and the numerous changes needed in the way law enforcement interacts with our communities. Through the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, we will continue his mission to bring love to the world and ensure that we help those who need it most,” said Bridgett Floyd, President and CEO of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation.
“Being the very target of the rising Asian hate crimes pushed me to take action for people like me. Every time I saw a headline about someone being attacked for being Asian, I felt a very visceral fear that it could’ve been me. Or my parents, or grandparents. Apart from providing physical safety for the vulnerable population, I hope this sends out a message of hope in humanity,” said Maddy Park, Founder of Cafe Maddy Cab.
“My heart hurts over the senseless acts of hate and violence we continue to experience and endure, and for all those affected by these tragedies. It’s important – now more than ever – to show strength and resilience, and to learn from what happened at Pulse to ensure a better future. These films highlight the resolve in the work we do for the Pulse community, the Orlando community, and for the LGBTQ+ community – and that love will always win over hate,” said Barbara Poma, Founder of onePULSE Foundation.
In addition to the videos featuring Bridgett Floyd, Maddy Park and Barbara Poma, the “Love Lives On” suite of creative will include audio assets developed pro bono by iHeartMedia which will be made available for other audio companies to use across their platforms beginning today. The campaign will also include digital, print and out-of-home assets, all directing audiences to lovehasnolabels.com, where individuals are encouraged to learn about issues of bias and discrimination, understand what actions of allyship are meaningful to different communities, and support organizations that are looking to create a more equitable, inclusive and just world for communities who have been historically marginalized. This includes ways to get involved locally or nationally and to better understand the underpinnings of systemic racism and structural inequality that caused the tragedies behind the love stories featured in the “Love Lives On” PSAs.
Contributing to the new campaign, Twitter ArtHouse is tapping their community of artists and activists at the intersection of race and gender to develop and distribute custom creative based on the “Love Lives On” platform. Twitter and Love Has No Labels will also be hosting a Spaces event in July to further discuss the many ways people can act with love to support justice and equity within their communities.
Additionally, the integrated campaign will receive donated media, digital and social support from partners including Amazon Ads, Cox Communications, Google, Hulu, iHeartMedia, Lightbox, LinkedIn, Meta, Pinterest, Reddit, SXM Media, YouTube and others. Publicis Media worked pro bono to secure targeted donated media placements to extend the campaign’s reach.
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 170 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 2020, the campaign launched two efforts: “Fight For Freedom,” which took a stance on racial injustice by looking at the stark contrast of privilege and simple freedoms many take for granted in the face of systemic racism, and “Fight the Virus. Fight the Bias.” which worked to dispel the misconceptions, harassment and hate the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community has increasingly experienced since the onset of COVID-19. In total, the campaign’s videos have exceeded 382 million online views.
Love Has No Labels’ brand partners Bank of America, Prudential Financial and Walmart, in addition to funding the campaign, show their support during the year through online and offline activations including social messaging, custom content creation, employee engagement, events and more. Love Has No Labels’ nonprofit partners include a cross-section of organizations actively involved in making the world a better and more equitable place for specific communities. These partners – AARP, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, ADL, American Immigration Council, Disability:IN, Human Rights Campaign, National Women’s Law Center, Perception Institute, StoryCorps, The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) and UnidosUS – provide expertise and resources, powering the Love Has No Labels movement to promote diversity, equity and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability.
Since the campaign’s initial video launched in March 2015 there have been over 12.9 million U.S. visits 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 70% in May 2022), according to a survey commissioned by the Ad Council and conducted by Ipsos, Public Affairs. To date, the campaign has received more than $160 million in donated media.