For Thanksgiving, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles and the LA Rams have released a moving film that pays tribute to the Watts Rams Youth Football Program and celebrates the unity and hope they have created.
And it’s without a doubt our “Reel Ad of the Week.”
The LAPD and the Watts community have endured strife, conflict and distrust. But in 2012, they put their differences aside and created something beautiful that has strengthened the community and its residents ever since. A Watts youth football team.
The two-minute film tells the story of the founding of the Watts Bears to the Watts Rams of today and illustrates how the Watts Rams continue to be an example of the transformation happening in Watts by highlighting the wave of change LAPD officers have led in the community.
Told from the perspective of the first and only boy who showed up to the first practice in 2012, the film shows the team slowly grew from one to five to 15 to 85 kids.
‘What’s Watts’ culminates at the recent Rams Family Thanksgiving dinner with the 85 Watts Rams players, Los Angeles Rams players, and the LAPD officers and coaches, during which Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions surprised each Watts Rams player with a $500 gift card to allow them to share the joy of Thanksgiving with their families.
The film is narrated by rapper, producer, songwriter and Watts-native Brandon ‘Stix’ Salaam-Bailey who wrote the lyrics for the bespoke film.
Stix is an advocate for giving back to his community through his THINK WATTS foundation and he continues to use music as his platform for something bigger. Watch below:
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“Watts is a tough community… and it’s always had a bad narrative,” said Renato Fernandez, TBWA\Chiat\Day LA chief creative officer told Campaign Live. “But an amazing group of people got together to change this narrative.”
He added, “One of the coaches told us how tough this journey was because no one trusted the cops back then. The kids were really skeptical and felt the cops did not belong here. But then what happened is that one kid joined, and the others got curious and that lead to more and more kids.”
Earlier this year the Los Angeles Rams formalized their support of the youth football program and the LAPD’s efforts to bridge the community and police relations through the game of football renaming the Watts Bears to the Watts Rams.
As part of the partnership the LA Rams are funding all components of the Watts Rams program, including uniforms and equipment.
All 85 Watts Rams players were invited to attend tonight’s Monday Night Football game to be on the field standing with the Los Angeles Rams during the National Anthem.
The film is a moving tribute to the unity created in the community of Watts and the hope programs like this can create to rebuild communities and engage kids in sports.
We at Reel 360 give thanks for this wonderful spot.