Ad Council

"I Want To Be"



The campaign titled “I Want To Be” for The Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful shows that recycling has come a long way – literally. The campaign gives garbage a voice to show that it dreams of a second chance at life. In the spot “Journey,” a plastic bottle travels from the Midwest to the Pacific, where she is recycled into a park bench overlooking the ocean. Another spot titled “Stadium" shows an aluminum can who wants to one day become a stadium. The spot was filmed on-location at M&T Bank Stadium, which is home to the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The stadium’s exterior, and additional select areas throughout the venue, is constructed partially from post-consumer recycled aluminum.

The “I Want To Be” campaign is targeted to motivate Americans to recycle every day, and shows that recyclable materials can be given another life and become something new if someone chooses to recycle. While there are several barriers to recycling, among the most common reasons given for not recycling are that respondents did not have enough information about where to recycle or what types of materials they are able to recycle.

“This campaign is the emotional push needed to raise awareness and positively change people’s behavior to recycle more. Our intent is to increase recycling rates, which translates into measurable benefits including waste reduction, energy savings, natural resource conservation and job creation,” said Brenda Pulley, Keep America Beautiful senior vice president, recycling. “Based on survey feedback, we know people want to recycle. This campaign is designed to tap into that desire as well as provide helpful tools to make recycling easier.”

“The core idea is to tell people to recycle and give their garbage another life. Showing that a bottle has dreams seems like a very powerful yet delicate way of doing it,” said PJ Pereira, chief creative officer at Pereira & O’Dell.

The campaign is funded through Keep America Beautiful by Alcoa Foundation, the American Chemistry Council, Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Nestlé Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever and Waste Management. The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs for television, radio, outdoor and digital media to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide. Following the Ad Council’s model, the ads will run in space and time entirely donated by the media. The campaign will be supported by a comprehensive public relations and social media program on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful partnered together more than four decades ago in 1971, creating a PSA campaign highlighting how litter and other forms of pollution were hurting the environment. The PSA, which featured Iron Eyes Cody, “The Crying Indian,” aired on Earth Day in 1971 and emphasized that every individual had a personal responsibility to help protect the environment. The ad became one of the most memorable and successful campaigns in advertising history and was named one of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th century by Ad Age.