The Sticker Elect Esrati put on the poles with the free green netsAds won’t make your life better. That’s the promise of what ads sell.

Political campaigns promise all kinds of things, but rarely deliver, and certainly not before they get elected.

So when our Chief Creative Officer was running for City Commission, he decided that instead of buying $3 political yard signs, he’d buy $2 basketball nets, paint the bottoms green, and go hang them for free, anywhere in the city. The sticker on the pole told the kids who to call when they needed a replacement.

Late at night, early in the morning. He’d go clean up courts that hadn’t seen a broom in years, cut weeds out of the cracks, even paint some backboards, hang some new rims. It took time, but, the kids in the community ended up with better places to shoot hoops. To fund the campaign, he went to barber and beauty shops, and sold a poster talking about the abysmal conditions of the city courts for $2 each. The video was made by two high school students who were interning at our office as part of the YouthWorks program. It’s not up to our normal production standards, but it tells the story.

He lost the election, but guilted city hall into investing over a million dollars in repairs to the city basketball courts. Four years later, and 500+ nets, he still goes out and climbs the ladder. He’s hung nets on other continents too. As our friends at Zeus Jones always say “actions speak louder than words.”