By Barry Janoff
April 2, 2017: LeBron James knows how much hard work and dedication it takes to be a star in the NBA.
Drew Brees knows the years of preparation it takes to be a top NFL quarterback.
Adriana Lima knows that to be super model, you need persistence and a lot of sacrifice.
But what these celebrities and others want to show kids is that "We Need More . . . " people to work in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math: the STEM fields.
James, Brees and Lima join the likes of NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns, actress and singer Zendaya, Nascar driver Joey Logano and soccer star David Villa in "We Need More . . . ," part of Verizon’s "Innovative Learning" multi-platform strategy.
Although they do not specifically tell anyone to give up dreams of becoming pro athletes or models, the goal, according to Verizon, is to "get young adults thinking about rewarding, creative and potential well-paying careers that do not involve shooting a basketball, throwing a football or modeling fashions on a runway or in a magazine."
"We need more kids involved in science, technology, engineering and math," relates Verizon. "Not just for their benefit, but because the world needs them — their brains, their creativity and their experiences — to create amazing solutions that will make our world a better place.
"We need more kids to see the world of possibilities waiting for them — like the four million science and tech jobs available in the U.S. right now. That’s why Verizon is bringing free tech, free access and hands-on learning to students in need."
In a spot released late last year, shot in the Verizon Innovative Learning School in North Carolina, students were asked to talk about their aspirations and list what they saw high-paid occupations. After hearing pro athlete, model and actress, Verizon flashed on a screen hundreds of science and technology jobs along with estimated (well-paying) salaries.
According to Verizon, "Looking through the lists, the students realized that the world needs more scientists, engineers and astronauts, but the world also needs more dreamers and people who can imagine what's possible.”
A new 60-second anthem spot continues that theme, with tweens and kids in their early-to-mid teens asked about potential future careers. The top responses: model, athlete and entertainer.
Text then reads, "There are about 2,880 pro football players" as we see a shot of Brees, who says, "The truth is, we don’t need more Drews."
Text offers, "There are about 850 pro soccer players" as Villas, an international star in MLS, responds, “We don’t need more Villas."
A photo shoot starring Lima shows her hard at work, It comes with the text, "There are about 5,800 models," as she responds, "We don’t need more Adrianas."
"There are 624 pro basketball players," to which James says, "We don’t need more LeBrons."
“But there are over four million available science and tech jobs in the U.S. We need more kids to see the world of possibilities. But millions of students don’t have the tech they need to go after their dreams. That’s why Verizon is on a mission to help. We’re giving free tech, free access and hands-on learning to kids in need. Join us at WeNeedMore.com.”
A separate 30-second spot opens with James. "You want to be the next big thing, the next LeBron. But the truth is we don’t need more LeBrons." Brees: "We don’t need more Drews." Lima: "We don’t need more Arianas."
"There are 624 pro basketball players. You want to be the next big thing, the next LeBron. But the truth is we don’t need more LeBrons."
Text offers the comparison between the number of basketball players, football players and models with the number of science and tech jobs. A young man then says, "We need more of me.” Followed by a voiceover: "We need more kids to see the world of possibilities waiting for them . . . "
The long-form spot broke over the weekend during March Madness telecasts. A 90-second spot breaks online this week.
Lead agency is R/GA.
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