Campbell Ewald and the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

Changing the world, one father at a time.

Why Pro Bono?

Since 1996, Campbell Ewald has been working for the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) now the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) and the Ad Council to change the world, one father at a time.

24 million children live without their biological fathers, a reality that is particularly acute among disadvantaged populations. NFI was created in 1994 to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible and committed fathers. To help with this challenge, the Ad Council reached out to Campbell Ewald to:

  • Raise awareness of the issue of absent fathers
  • Achieve this improved level of awareness by securing a high level of donated media in support of the campaign
  • Encourage parents to contact NFI to get valuable information about fathering


Based on available research, the creative strategy focuses on two areas:

    Inform — increase awareness of the critical importance of fathers.
    Inspire — encourage action and make relationships achievable.

The campaign that Campbell Ewald developed, “Take Time to be a Dad Today,” is a simple, direct exploration of the differences between a biological father and an engaged and committed dad. Given that television provides the best opportunity to visually demonstrate the emotional bond between father and child, it was selected as the primary PSA medium for this campaign. This advertising drives parents to a Web site and toll-free number, which provides them with important resources about fathering.


National media donated approximately $47 million in space during 2009, a 269% increase over the previous period.

The Ad Council's Social Issues Omnibus study indicates that the NFI campaign has contributed to an increase in overall awareness of the issue of father absence in America. Among respondents who saw the advertising, 28% said they spent more time with their children, 21% spoke to family and friends about the issue, and 14% spoke to fathers they know about fatherhood.

The campaign is also directly linked to a 55% increase in the average number of callers to the toll-free number each month during 2009. "Be A Dad" received 26% more donated media from broadcast television stations than the average amount received for other Ad Council PSA campaigns.

In addition to traditional PSA air time, the campaign's award-winning Cheerleader spot was twice highlighted on the highly rated television show

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