Modern Marketing

“Live United”: Truist and United Way use poetry to spread message of unity

  • The pandemic challenges financial institutions to step up to the new role they play in communiities.
  • United Way and Truist Financial have partnered on a new ad campaign focused on a message of unity.
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“Live United”: Truist and United Way use poetry to spread message of unity

So much is changing around us. Our health, social and economic well-being are being confronted by the pandemic. A new television and social media advertising campaign by United Way and Truist Financial, the combined entity of SunTrust Bank and BB&T Bank, hopes to spark hope and optimism for the future.

The campaign features an original poem, “Live United,” penned by America’s inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate, 22-year-old Amanda Gorman, and inspired by United Way and all that can be achieved when we unite for our communities.

“We are the world’s neighbors, Making our communities brighter, greater, Fighting for every person in every neighborhood. We, the coming of the common good. So dare to care, to be hope-sided. We’re never divided, for when we live to give, We always live united,” reads part of Gorman’s poem.

“Live United” gives voice to the on-going partnership between Truist and United Way. Gorman’s poem drives home a powerful and hopeful message about the opportunity ahead to build a better America, where every person is respected, every voice is heard and every community thrives.

The United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund’s $7 million grant is part of the financial services company’s Truist Cares initiative, a cooperative effort between Truist Financial, the Truist Foundation, and the Truist Charitable Fund to pledge $50 million of philanthropic support to provide disaster relief and assistance during the pandemic.

“At Truist, our purpose of inspiring and building better lives and communities has never been more urgent,” said Susan Somersille Johnson, chief marketing officer at Truist. “We are proud to partner with United Way as we strengthen our communities. Together, our ad gives voice to America’s first youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman and her inspiring call to meet tomorrow with hope.”

Developed and produced by New York-based StrawberryFrog and directed by award-winning filmmaker Fredrik Bond, with MJZ, “Live United” shows a montage of different Americans defined by changing circumstances, occupations, communities and demographics. In spite of their differences, they become unified as each stops to listen Gorman’s poignant words emanating from various devices and are inspired by renewed optimism.

“Live United” launched nationally earlier this month and is airing in 13 markets across Truist’s corporate footprint, which includees Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington DC, Tampa, Miami, through mid-August. 

“There has never been a greater need in America to come together to create positive, lasting change,” said Stan Little, chief experience officer at United Way Worldwide. 

“We look forward to driving this change in partnership with Truist, to reimagining our communities and rebuilding a country that is equitable for all. We must all do our part, working United, to make our communities the places that we need them to be – equitable, respectful and opportunity-filled.”

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