Children Born on 9/11 Star in This Uplifting Campaign About the Power of Doing Good

Turning hate into hope

Transformation is the overriding theme of "Born On 9/11," Grey New York's integrated campaign for the nonprofit 9/11 Day organization—featuring PSAs that ask Americans to do at least one good deed next Friday to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In effect, we're challenged to transform our thinking, to erase sad, hateful thoughts and to use 9/11 as a springboard for putting hope into action. That may sound simplistic or trite, but the ads hit all the right notes.

Various teens who share 9/11/01 as their birthday appear in the ads, and Hillary O'Neill makes a fine choice as the principal spokeskid. She seems so poised, genuine and self-aware that even the good-deed memory string tied around her finger—which, under other circumstances, might feel a bit forced—works well in context as a visual cue for the campaign. Plus, Bodega Studios director Adam Reid employs a relaxed, understated documentary style that keeps the proceedings from getting sappy.

"When we interviewed these children born on 9/11, we quickly found out that none of them wished their birthdays were different," says Andreas Dahlqvist, Grey New York's chief creative officer. "In fact, they feel strongly that they represent what's good in the world."

That vibe really resonates, and gives the campaign its quiet power. While watching the spots, it's possible to put cynicism aside and believe that simple good deeds—which users can share via the #911Day hashtag—might just add up and make the world a better place.


Client: 9/11 Day Organization

Spot: Born On 9/11

Agency: Grey New York

Chief Creative Officer: Andreas Dahlqvist

Executive Creative Director: Linda Mummiani, Caitlin Ewing

Art Director: Carla Johnson

Associate Creative Director: Kim Healy

Project Manager: Liz Vaughan

Agency Producer: Judi Nierman

Production Company (Location): Bodega Studios

Prod. Co. Executive Producer: Clint Goldman

Director: Adam Reid

Director Of Photography: Adam Reid

Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors

Editor: Parker Whipple

Producer: Mike Tockman

Exec. Producer: Eve Kornblum

Music Producer: Ben Dorenfeld

Audio Engineer TV: Matt Baker

Audio Engineer + Sound Design Radio: Blast- Joe O'connell

Principal Talent: Hillary O'Neill

Account Team:

Partner: Jason Kahner

SVP/Account Director: Tara Cosentino

Account Executive: Jillian Kettler


Strategy Director: Peri Shaplow

Director/Social Media: Laura Chavoen

Social Strategist: Olga Zakharenko

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: September 1, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT