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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Love Has No Labels, Rising

Finalist in Branded Content, Long Form Video


The original short film Rising is a powerful extension of the award-winning Love Has No Labels campaign.

The goal of the campaign broadly is to promote messages of unbiased love to promote acceptance across race, religion, gender, sexuality, ability and age. The campaign floods culture with diverse images of love to promote inclusion and erode implicit bias.

The objective of the film is to encourage all Americans to come together and ultimately inspire people to act inclusively every day.

Rising captures the poignant story of a diverse neighborhood coming together in a flood, rising above their differences to support each other in a time of need.

From a metrics standpoint, we wanted to generate broad awareness by amassing as many views of the film as possible, drive further awareness of the Love Has No Labels brand, and increase the number of adults in the U.S. who reflect on their biases and feel they have the power to create a more inclusive environment.

Strategy and Execution


-Cultural relevancy and surprise

--Since its 2015 launch, Love Has No Labels has repeatedly tapped into the cultural zeitgeist and leveraged elements of surprise.

--The campaign's first video of skeletons dancing and embracing before coming out form behind an x-ray screen to reveal themselves as diverse couples, friends and families encouraged viewers to confront their own implicit bias (element of surprise).

--The PSA was also released mere months before the legalization of same-sex marriage across the U.S. (cultural relevancy).

-Rising, offers similar themes of timeliness and relevancy.

--Between 2017 and 2018, the U.S. was devastated by tragedy and disaster: The 2017 hurricane season was the most expensive in U.S. history following landfall by hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma. Mudslides and wildfires affected the west coast. Maryland flooded after torrential rain, and Hurricane Florence devastated the Carolinas.

--Rising reflects research which shows that catastrophes have one of the most profoundly unifying effects on people. It challenges viewers to consider why it takes a disaster to bring us together.

--The film's closing montage also features photos of real disaster survivors coming together regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability and age, grounding it in real stories.


--Previously, the campaign has released shorter online videos (around three minutes).

--The short film medium was selected under the belief that the longer people commit to watching content, the bigger the impact it will have on them. Additionally, exploring a new medium would help us reach new audiences.

--The medium also presents another element of surprise by subverting expectations of how messages from the campaign are delivered.


-Widespread, multi-platform distribution

--Rising launched on 11/12/18 with an exclusive People Magazine story.

--SHOWTIME, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon Prime, Direct TV and CW for Good all featured the film on their respective channels.

--As a launch partner, SHOWTIME, aired the film on air and on demand.

--Clear Channel Outdoor supported the film by showing Rising and creative assets on billboards across the country.

--National CineMedia ran Rising trailers in theatres across the country.

--The film in its entirety, along with trailers and teasers, also live on the LoveHasNoLabels website and social channels.

Key features

-Talent involved

--The film was directed by Game of Thrones' David Nutter and written by Lena Waithe creator of SHOWTIME drama series The Chi and Emmy winning writer for Master of None and Azia Squire.

-Diverse support at launch and beyond

--16+ public figures including Sarah Silverman, Josh Groban and Jesse Tyler Ferguson have supported the film on social.

--50+ outlets including the Huffington Post, Mashable, AdWeek, the Houston Chronicle have covered the film.

--Partners including AT&T, Bloomberg, Esquire, Facebook, FOX Networks Group, The New York Times, Oath, PopSugar, Sharethrough, Sony Crackle, Spotify, Upworthy, USA Today, Xandr, YouTube and others donated media, digital and social support to Rising.


Awareness & Video views

--In its first month, the Rising campaign garnered nearly 10.8M views online. The film was viewed 4.6M times, with its :30 and :45 trailers amassing 3.2k and 3M views respectively.

--In total, the Love Has No Labels campaign has garnered 350M video views, 4M video likes and 5M video shares.

--Love Has No Labels brand awareness also hit the highest levels to date (32% in December, up significantly from 26% in November)

Impact measures

--A continuous tracking study shows significant shifts in behaviors and attitudes towards bias and inclusion since Rising launched in November 2018.

As of December 2018…

--More adults strongly agree there are things they can do to create a more accepting and inclusive environment (38% to 42%).

--More adults believe supporting diversity and acceptance around race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability is very important (42% to 45%).

--More adults have reflected on their biases frequently (30% to 34%).


Video for Love Has No Labels, Rising

Entrant Company / Organization Name

​The Ad Council, R/GA, Great Guns, Ntropic, White House ​


Entry Credits