Responses by Estee Mathes and Samantha Gorelik, creatives, Ogilvy
Background: The United States Postal Service (USPS) is in need of our support, perhaps more than ever before. Working with the Stand By Your Mail initiative, our goal was to motivate Americans to rally together because we believe everyone has the right to receive the services provided by our USPS. It is truly a non-partisan issue. Due to recent budget cuts and attempts to defund and dismantle the USPS, we wanted to raise awareness and let Americans know that there are ways to let their voices be heard, and that we have the power to save and support this vital organization.
Reasoning: We took our inspiration from the iconic Postal Service Creed: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” These words felt extra powerful given the time we’re all living in—as the Post Office faces new threats, cuts to funding and the pressure of delivering our mail during a pandemic. We wanted to show people that our Post Office is worth fighting for—that we’ve always been able to depend on them, and now, their future depends on us.
Challenges: The immediacy. We needed to move as quickly to put the one-minute spot out into the world before the election. We had to make an impact and reach people before November 3rd. We wanted people to understand that they have the power to decide our future leadership, and that our leadership has serious implications for the USPS. Americans may not have realized it, but the future of the Postal Service was on the ballot.
Visual influences: We thought there was something very poetic about visualizing our new take on the Postal Service Creed as letters being written by everyday Americans. Whether typed on a typewriter, computer or phone, or written by hand, we wanted to show that Americans stand behind US Postal Workers and will not let the government’s decisions threaten our democracy. Ending our piece with the letter being addressed and mailed to the White House felt like the perfect, powerful conclusion.
Time constraints: We needed to get our message out as soon as possible before the election occurred. We wanted to find a visual solution that felt equal parts elegant and powerful, regardless of our limited time and resources. Focusing on the beauty of letter writing felt like a solution that aligned well with our creative vision.
Anything new: We learned so much from our clients at Stand By Your Mail about the Postal Service and why they need to be supported and revitalized. There is more at stake than we imagined. For example, millions of Americans rely on the USPS to get their medication delivered, so in rural communities, it is truly a lifeline. And right now, 600,000 people are employed by the Post Office, so if the government moved to privatize it, there would be tremendous consequences.