These are not the best of times for DraftFCB. Among other things, the shop is under the gun to hold on to its giant S.C. Johnson account, which is in review. If it goes away, DraftFCB will kiss goodbye to an estimated $1 billion in billings.
But on a kinder, gentler note, the agency has created a new video to support the "It Gets Better" project initiated last year by columnist and author Dan Savage. In this instance, "it gets better" refers to the belief that the world is slowly becoming a better, more welcoming place for gays and lesbians, though no one would suggest the battle is done.
The DraftFCB video features an array of DraftFCB staffers ranging from CEO Laurence Boschetto to public relations honcho Wally Petersen and others in various DraftFCB outposts recounting some of the tough times they've had in their lives and encouraging all within earshot to believe it does get better.
A DraftFCB spokeswoman said the agency is not the first advertising shop to create such a video, but it is perhaps the largest to do so to date. Of course it takes guts to stand in front of a camera and talk very publicly and candidly about one's identity and one's life struggles. And we suspect many in ad agencies here in Chicago and elsewhere who might relate to the message in the video would not be as willing to do what these gutsy DraftFCB folk have done.
If the video inspires courage and hope in others that see it, well, it will have been a gutsy deed with a wonderful payoff.