2006_07_wtcmemad.jpg

Hooray, the Port Authority has officially agreed to build the World Trade Center Memorial. Whether to take advantage of construction efficiencies or to just do what others seem unable to do (there's some advantage to being affiliated with the state), we just hope the memorial gets built at some point. But then there is the matter of the $170 million still needed for funds.

Which is why the city and state turned to ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day for print, TV and radio ads that would tell Americans across the country that the WTC Memorial needs donations. You can see the ads here at the WTC Memorial Foundation website. The TV ads show different people taking objects - teddy bear, hat, photograph - and placing them on a sidewalk, and with words "We Needed One Then" coming up. Then the image fades to black with the words "We Need One Now." The radio ads work similarly - different people mention different objects - a prom picture, a fraternity pin - and then a narrator says people built personal memorials back then and now people are "coming together to build a lasting memorial." And the print ads show "personal memorials," with the line "We Needed One Then. We Need One Now." All have the buildthememorial.org URL and phone number for donations.

What do you think of the ads? The ads try to capture the idea of the spontaneous memorials we would see all over the place, and they aren't too maudlin. But will it drive home the point that we're trying to build something other than a place to put teddy bears? Metro got some downtown feedback on the ads from the Jerry Walker, the owner of Walker's restaurant and bar: “New Yorkers are the most giving people in the world, but [the ads] don’t have a clear picture of what’s going to happen there.” Which is an interesting point - should there be emphasis on what the space will be? Walker added that the memorial "should be a place that people use, where people go to work and people visit and they can stop and eat lunch and stop to think about what happened. There’s no argument that we need a memorial. Now we have to get it up, whatever it is.”