It’s that time of year again, it’s time for March Adness 2020. Check out this year’s Sweet 16 picks for the Ad Council’s PSA of the year, along with all our tournament dates below. Voting starts via email on March 10 and each round will be open for 24 hours.
To ensure your vote is counted, sign up by giving us your email in the box to the right of this post, and invite your friends to join the game to help your favorite campaign win. Campaign winners from each round will be announced on AdLibbing, so check back frequently.
March Adness Tournament Dates:
- 03/10: Sweet 16, Round 1
- 03/12: Sweet 16, Round 2
- 03/17: Sweet 16, Round 3
- 03/19: Sweet 16, Round 4
- 03/24: Excellent 8, Round 1
- 03/26: Excellent 8, Round 2
- 03/31: Flawless 4
- 04/02: Championship Round
- 04/03: The March Adness 2020 winner is announced!
**Please note, you can register to vote at any time to participate in the current round of the tournament. Just enter your email in the box to the right of this post.
Ending Hunger vs. Bullying Prevention
37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children don’t have enough to eat. For many people, hunger in America is invisible. The truth is, hunger can be hard to recognize because it affects people from all walks of life in every community across the country. Using real stories, data from the USDA, and artificial intelligence, the I am Hunger in America PSA introduces a lifelike data-driven portrait of domestic hunger. By revealing these stories, the face of hunger challenges public perception of who struggles with hunger in the U.S.
The term bullying has come to reflect a specific situation that does not always connect to the general culture of meanness that many teens experience daily. While only one-third of teens list bullying as a top concern today, twice as many say they regularly experience more specific behaviors like drama, teasing, and exclusion. When it comes to these instances of cruelty or meanness, teens don’t realize that their words and actions can be hurtful, even if it’s not their intent. The new Because of You PSA, “A Message From the Future,” encourages teens to reflect on the long-lasting impact of their words and actions. By encouraging self-reflection and focusing on specific actions, the campaign aims to inspire teens to create a more empathetic and inclusive culture around them.
Empowering Girls in STEM vs. Texting & Driving Prevention
Girls with female role models in STEM are more likely to stick with it. Research shows that young girls enjoy subjects like science, technology, engineering, and math, but as they get older, they start to feel that STEM isn’t for them, based on outdated stereotypes. In this PSA, watch Karlie Kloss and her Kode With Klossy scholars as they prepare for an EPIC coding session. When we give girls the opportunity to stretch their minds, we give them the confidence to change the world. She Can STEM. So Can You. Learn more @SheCanSTEM.
Texting and driving is dangerous – that’s a fact. More than nine in ten Americans believe sending (94%) and reading (91%) texts while driving is dangerous or very dangerous. And even though research shows that people are convinced texting and driving is dangerous, many people still do it. To help address the disconnect between awareness and behavior, the Texting & Driving Prevention campaign has partnered with Project Yellow Light, a scholarship competition designed to bring about change since 2011. The competition calls on students to develop and produce a short video educating their peers on the dangers of texting and driving. This spot was created by Marcus Marshall (grand prize winner, college category). For more information, visit ProjectYellowLight.com.
Buzzed Driving Prevention vs. Wildfire Prevention
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, in 2018 there were over 10,511 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents. The Buzzed Driving Prevention campaign aims to help reduce that number by inspiring young men 21-34 to examine their behavior and take responsibility for their decisions to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks. PSAs emphasize that if you see a buzzed warning sign, you should call a cab, car or friend when it’s time to go home. Just don’t drive. Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
For 75 years, Smokey Bear has been protecting our forests and getting the word out about wildfire prevention. His powerful message, “Only you can prevent wildfires,” is at the heart of one of America’s longest running PSA campaigns. In honor of Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday, celebrities like Stephen Colbert have joined the historic campaign, lending their voices to help expand on Smokey’s iconic catchphrase using animated emoji technology. These PSAs encourage viewers to protect what they love by preventing wildfires. Visit SmokeyBear.com to learn more wildfire prevention tips.
Emergency Preparedness vs. Shelter Pet Adoption
When you look at the number of disasters in the U.S., chances are every area will deal with some kind of emergency in the next decade. And getting everyone involved in preparedness efforts can help youth, families and communities be prepared and able to respond when faced with disasters. This PSA encourages parents, teachers and caregivers to be Prepared, Not Scared by visiting Ready.gov/kids so they can teach our youth how to take preparedness actions together and know what to do when a crisis occurs.
Each year, millions of dogs and cats will enter shelters and rescue groups, yet only half will be adopted. This leaves millions of healthy and treatable dogs and cats who still need our help to find a home. While every shelter pet is unique, there’s one thing they have in common: they’re all pure love. The #AdoptPureLove PSA campaign celebrates the unique traits of shelter pets and shows how these qualities add up to an incredible bond between every shelter pet and parent.
Adoption from Foster Care vs. Child Car Safety
There are over 125,000 children in the U.S. foster care system currently waiting to be adopted. But teens have lower adoption rates and often wait twice as long to be adopted as younger children. No matter our age, we never outgrow the need for a loving and supportive family. This PSA reminds prospective parents that they will not always be the ones who will be doing the teaching. Adopted teens can help their parents grow in ways they never imagined, giving families a completely new set of moments to look forward to. After all, when it comes to parenthood– you can’t imagine the reward. For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child or teen from foster care, please visit AdoptUSKids.org.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children under 13. This PSA shows how parents’ love for their children extends to car safety. This means knowing the right seat for their child’s age and size – from rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, boosters, all the way to seat belts – and ensuring that kids are correctly buckled for every ride. Make sure your child is in #TheRightSeat at: NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat.
Saving for Retirement vs. High School Equivalency
America is facing a looming retirement savings crisis and future generations will have a lower standard of living due to financial insecurity. This is a particularly important issue for African Americans, where 33 percent of the population have less than one month of funds saved for a crisis. This campaign, “Tribute to Our Sheroes,” celebrates everything Black women do for their loved ones and empowers them to take charge of their future with free, personalized tips to help boost their retirement savings so they can live comfortable, happy lives as they age.
Over 34 million adults in America do not have a high school diploma, and adults without a diploma tend to work multiple jobs in the least stable positions, earn less money and experience a lower quality of life. While most understand the long-term benefits of obtaining their high school equivalency, many don’t know where to begin. The High School Equivalency campaign seeks to combat this critical issue by encouraging those without a high school diploma to take the first step towards a better future by signing up for free adult education classes in their area. No One Gets a Diploma Alone PSAs highlight real stories of adults who have completed their high school equivalency degrees with the support of those important in their life, demonstrating how all potential students have the support they need to earn their degrees.
End Family Fire vs. Alzheimer’s Awareness
We know kids are curious and they get into everything. That’s why it’s important to make sure any guns in the home are stored locked, unloaded, separate from ammunition and inaccessible to children. By taking these steps, you can protect your kids from family fire – shootings involving an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home that results in death or injury. When it comes to guns, we can all agree on the importance of preventing kids from having easy access to them. Learn more about safe gun storage at EndFamilyFire.org.
More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s but less than half are ever diagnosed. Close family members, who know their loved ones best, are typically the first to notice memory issues or cognitive problems, but they are often hesitant to say something – even when they know something is wrong. While acknowledging why your loved one may be acting differently is hard, it can be critical, as early detection of Alzheimer’s can make a difference in managing the disease. By telling real, relatable stories of families who have benefited from early detection of Alzheimer’s, the campaign empowers people to have these critical conversations with loved ones when they notice something is different.
Lung Cancer Screening vs. Fatherhood Involvement
Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of men and women. If everyone at high-risk were screened, 48,000 lives would be saved. Talk to your doctor or learn more at SavedByTheScan.org.
Today, 1 out of every 2 working dads say they spend too little time with their kids and want to do a better job at parenting. Having an involved father significantly contributes to happier and healthier children, and this is true whether a father lives with his child or not. The Ad Council’s Fatherhood Involvement campaign encourages men to #DanceLikeaDad and share a moment with their children. New PSAs feature fathers and children dancing with and alongside each other to show the smallest moments can make the biggest difference. The PSA directs audiences to visit Fatherhood.gov for parenting tips, fatherhood programs and other resources. Share this timeless message with the dads in your community.