Playing off its initials, ABC’s public-service campaign is called “A Better Community,” and it focuses on four core values: compassion, environmentalism, education and volunteerism—or, in Disney-speak, VoluntEARism.
“These values mirror what the Walt Disney Co. overall is committed to,” says Brad Jamison, ABC’s VP of corporate communications. “They represent something appropriate for men, women, children—everyone who is currently watching ABC.”
For the first time, ABC partnered this year with The Ad Council and the national PTA to air branded public-service announcements on bullying. The PTA paid for production; ABC donated airtime and used stars from Rodney and Alias to convey the anti-bullying message.
A bigger initiative incorporates Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, starring Ty Pennington. The show’s feel-good weekly messages of communities banding together to rebuild lives encouraged viewers to get involved.
Inundated with phone calls, ABC created a campaign around the phenomenon.
“We want to help people see that they can experience the same joy as the volunteers in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” Jamison says. “They don’t need to have a major television show to have an influence on someone’s life.”
The whole campaign is due to be revamped this fall. For now, on its Web site, ABetterCommunity.com, ABC includes information about volunteering for such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and HomeAid.