Date: 2007-06-04T17:21:16

AARP to Sponsor Coverage of June New Hampshire Debates;
Unveils Two New Ads Speaking Directly to Voters and Candidates
on Healthcare and Financial Security Issues

AARP’s New TV Advertising Debuts Divided We Fail Mascot, Brings Anti-Gridlock Message to Life

AARP recently announced the coverage sponsorship of CNN’s New Hampshire Democratic and GOP debates on June 3 and June 5, with the launch of two new, bold ads featuring children delivering frank declarations on the state of healthcare and financial security, and in the second ad, speaking directly to candidates.

“AARP is on the ground and on the air, asking tough questions and demanding solutions from candidates and political leaders,” said AARP CEO Bill Novelli.  “Our members want to know what these candidates are going to do about the nation’s problems and we will do all we can to help them get those answers.”

Building on AARP’s “Future Champions” advertising campaign, the multigenerational focus of the ads reinforces the Association’s Divided We Fail initiative.  It was created to bring together unlikely groups who share a common goal of ending partisan gridlock to address our nation’s most challenging domestic problems.  The ads also debut a Divided We Fail mascot, a new animal created by combining a donkey and an elephant that represents bipartisanship.

“The new Divided We Fail mascot brings the campaign to life:  For too long, the donkeys and elephants in Washington, DC, have bickered and wallowed in partisan gridlock,” explained AARP Chief Brand Officer Emilio Pardo.  “It’s time they come together as one, set aside their differences and work together to fix health care and long term financial security.”

The first new 30-second broadcast spot, called “Too Young,” features 12 children making the following statements about important health and financial issues:

“I am too young to vote.”
“But if I could vote, I would vote for the candidate who will fix health care.”
“I would vote for the candidate who will protect Social Security…”
“…and pensions.”
“I would vote for the candidate who keeps promises.”
“It seems simple to me.”
“But I’m just a kid.”
“But someday I’ll be grown up.”
“And I’ll vote for the candidate…”
“…who has answers.”
“I’ll vote for the candidate who will get it done.”
“Will you?”

In an interesting twist, the second ad “Way Too Important” features nine children speaking directly to candidates for public office:

“This is a message for political candidates.”
“Don’t tell us you’ll improve health care just so people will vote for you.”
“Don’t tell us you’ll fix Social Security just so you’ll get elected.”
“Don’t tell us that unless you really mean it.”
“Because it’s way too important.”
“Too many families can’t even afford to get sick.”
“Too many people can’t even save enough for their future.”
“So please don’t tell us you’ll fix things unless you really mean it.”
“Because it’s way too important.”

Both spots conclude with a voiceover that states, “It’s time for health care and financial security for all.  Demand action and answers at”  The “Too Young” ad debuts nationwide June 1, with both ads running through October in a rotation that includes mostly the four primary states—Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada—but also in national outlets, mostly around debate and forum coverage.

Novelli concluded, “We want the American people to visit, learn about the issues, and tell us their story.”

The ads can be seen at the following links:

AARP unveiled Divided We Fail (, a national, nonpartisan effort designed to engage the American people, elected officials and the business community to find broad-based, bi-partisan solutions to the most compelling domestic issues facing the nation – health care and the long-term financial security of Americans.  The campaign encompasses traditional grassroots work, advertising in national outlets and in the primary states, and online activities which will engage the public, business and elected officials in the debate, encouraging public leaders to offer solutions.