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San Francisco tries to bring the love back to the city by the bay

Cheerleading GS&P campaign timed for Asia-Pacific summit

Can “It All Starts Here” do for embattled San Francisco what Milton Glazer’s famous campaign (below) – surely the most valuable pro bono ad in history – did for New York back in 1976?

Glaser scribbled his with a red crayon on a piece of scrap paper in the back of an iconic New York yellow cab. Suspect a bit more planning went into this new San Francisco effort from home agency GS&P, timed to coincide with a November Asia-Pacific leaders summit in the increasingly scruffy city by the bay.

Inequality is the curse of SF, massive wealth in Silicon Valley and surrounding financial network, not so much for anyone else. Eerily similar to New York back then. But there’s an irony here, of course. The $4m campaign is supported by and features precisely those companies among the world’s global elite ‘haves,” where the issue really is the ‘have-nots.’

Take a few liberties in the long list of invented in California (TV, really?) but includes pretty much everything including a fleeting image of the earthquake that destroyed most of the city in 1906. And Steve McQueen in Bullitt always plays well. Peter Coyote’s V/O does that American gravitas thing to the nth degree.

Inequality, along with climate change, is the pressing issue de nos jours. This doesn’t tackle that but it’s an OK exercise in cheerleading.

Should we be grateful for Facebook, Google, Uber et al? That’s another debate.

MAA creative scale: 6.

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