Campaign of the Month: One Number Different – YMCA of the USA

Lower income areas offer less opportunities for growth. This might be a somewhat obvious point to make, but often the power of a story lies in how you tell it.

For Droga5’s latest addition to a string of campaigns putting underprivileged communities in the spotlight, it’s a story about numbers.

Emphasizing the impact that one number – a single digit in a zip code – can have on a person’s life, here’s why we chose ‘One Number Different’ as our November campaign of the month.

The Insight

Kids born into a lower-income area code have less access to fresh food, quality education and job opportunities, meaning they have a much lower chance of getting ahead in life.

This was the insight that fuelled the creative campaign, focused on highlighting the inequality that exists across America.

Through a powerful 60-second spot directed by Spencer Creigh, it explains how one number can make all the difference.

Beverly Hills, for example, with a 90210 zip code, is reported to have a 95% graduation rate, while Compton, which has a 90220 zip code, has a graduation rate of just 59%.

The Message

“In America, the zip code you’re born into can determine your future.”

This is the key message the campaign puts forth – how something as simple as one number can spell completely different schools, jobs, dreams, problems, and in turn very different opportunities for the citizens of these neighborhoods.

The campaign goes on to explain that the Y is there to help kids from all backgrounds and zip codes to make a difference to their futures.

“One Number Different” highlights the disparity we see all across the country, sometimes in communities we serve that are just blocks apart,” said Valerie Barker Waller, SVP and chief marketing & communication officer for Y-USA.

“At the Y, we believe that the zip code you are born into should not determine your destiny or limit your potential, and want to showcase the impactful work we do in thousands of communities to close those gaps.”

Why it Worked

Supporting the TV ad, the campaign includes content spread across radio, digital and social media featuring real families who are members of the Y.

This powerful, but simple creative work is one of many from Droga5 that hones in on data to tell a hard-hitting story.

Tapping into the right emotions, it proves that a theory backed by insight can make a real difference – whether by simply starting a conversation, or by by changing the way we think.