Patriotism is a constant hurdle for brands. Brands must walk the fine line between representing their brand and it’s identity and celebrating American heroism. This spirit is literally the essence of who we are, where we came from, and the reason we can tell our stories.
With Independence Day this weekend, we as Americans should pause and reflect on our country, our history, and the men and women who have fought to protect the rights and freedoms we sometimes take for granted.
For brands and advertisers alike, the big question then becomes how do you tell this American story? How do you position the American Dream in the space allotted to a 30-second TV spot?
The answer is simple: carefully, clearly, and authentically.
As someone who comes from a family steeped in military tradition and has friends serving across all branches, I have a soft spot for brands that support our troops. While there is a myriad of brands who have brought out the red,white and blue, there are a few that have shown their stripes better than others over the years.
Developed for the U.S. Marine Core in 2008, this TV spot embodies the ideals of what it truly means to be a Marine. Showcasing the United States silent drill team in the country’s most iconic locations, the ad inspires and celebrates those protecting our freedom from coast to coast.
Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, the two-minute commercial hits on all of the all too real scenarios for the families of service men and women. Aired while Americans were glued to their TV sets during the 2013 Super Bowl, it serves as a poignant reminder that there are families across the country who are waiting for far more important news about when (or if) their loved ones are coming home.
3. Welcome Home
An old one, but a great one. Produced by Anheuser-Busch, this 2006 commercial depicts the real life, real time homecoming of America’s heroes. With no reference to the product besides the title card, the ad has a profound impact and has been called one of the “most patriotic ads ever created.”
4. 9/11 Tribute
Another monumental ad produced by Anheuser-Busch this 9/11 tribute ran only once: During the 2002 Super Bowl only six months after the attack. The backstory is amazing – and truly shows how a brand was dedicated to preserving the memory of fallen heroes and lifting up America. The commercial was run again on the 10th anniversary.
Which brands do you believe celebrate America best?