American Immigration Council: Promoting Acceptance with a Digital PSA


Campaign Summary

The Ad Council and the American Immigration Council strove to promote a message of acceptance for immigrants to the United States.



"Belonging Begins with Us" was a national campaign dedicated to fostering a more welcoming nation in which people would feel that they belonged, regardless of their background or where they were born.

The effort was supported by a broad coalition of foundations, corporations, and non-profit organizations working to strengthen connections and promote belonging in communities across the country. More than ever, finding points of connection and shared experiences is key to creating strong, supportive communities.

The campaign was designed to remind audiences that everyone has the power to make others feel safe and welcome in our communities. The goal of the campaign was to promote inclusive communities and spread the "Belonging Begins with Us" message.

The Ad Council and the American Immigration Council took a full-funnel approach, utilizing display units on mobile and tablets as well as video units on mobile, tablets, and CTV to reach people more than once to help drive the message home. KPIs included CPA, video-completion rate, site engagement, and secondary engagement.

Target Audience:

According to research by Cigna, more than three out of five people in American feel lonely, with more and more people reporting that they feel like they are left out and poorly understood. The pandemic and other international and national developments have led to feelings of insecurity among those who have recently moved to this country or may have been born in the country but have a different heritage.

The campaign's target audience was extremely broad — it was adults in top DMAs nationwide. Even beyond that target, the goal was to reach as many people as efficiently as possible and spread the message as broadly as possible.

Creative Strategy:

The campaign PSAs featured a cover of the 1968 hit song "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," recorded by Lake Street Dive exclusively for the campaign. The song and powerful visuals reminded audiences that everyone knows what it feels like to be left out — and for people who have moved to this country, that feeling can last more than a moment. By highlighting this shared emotional experience, the campaign creative sparked empathy and built stronger bonds between everyone who called America home.

The PSAs directed audiences to the campaign website,, which featured dozens of real stories of belonging from across the country. The website also highlighted actions people could take to help others in their community feel that they belonged.


This was the first year of this specific campaign and it beat all benchmarks based on similar campaigns from the past as well as industry benchmarks.


Overall Campaign Execution:

To drive awareness of the "Belonging Begins with Us" message among the target audience, AdTheorent ran a mix of video and display ad units to reach consumers across Connected TV, desktop, and mobile devices.

AdTheorent's machine learning platform leveraged a custom CPA machine learning model fueled by non-individualized statistics and predictive targeting optimizations to identify and target consumers with the highest likelihood of completing the required actions — defined for CTV as video completions and for display as people directed to engage with the campaign website.

AdTheorent utilized myriad signals in the custom predictive CPA model such as ad position, publisher, geo-intelligence, non-individualized user device attributes, location, and CTV exposure to drive an efficient CPA. The organization reached consumers of display with a banner image and retargeted those users on CTV.

Additionally, AdTheorent utilized sequential targeting to reach consumers across devices and mediums and frequency optimizations to encourage multiple engagements. Using conversion data from the target website ( and from CTV engagement, predictive models optimized for users most likely to take desired actions on the brand site and drive a high video-completion rate.

Seventy-five percent of the campaign went to mobile, and 25 percent of the campaign was targeted to CTV.

Mobile Execution:

The mobile component played a key role in the overall success of this campaign. The amount of data available on mobile allowed AdTheorent to use custom CPA models to drive the most efficient engagement on mobile and use that data to fuel targeting on CTV, which led to further conversions and engagement. This allowed the campaign to reach the right audience within targeting parameters at the right time and at scale.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The campaign successfully drove viewership of the PSA video as well as site actions. Through the campaign, AdTheorent was able to reach 4.7 million consumers with the campaign's message. Overall, AdTheorent's delivered a CPA of $.39 for a landing page visit, which exceeded industry benchmarks by 1,550 percent. Additionally, AdTheorent's CTV video-completion rate was 98.57 percent.

AdTheorent's data-driven platform identified targeting variables which yielded conversion lift, providing valuable insights for future flights of the campaign.

Campaign insights included the learnings that:

  • Mobile devices and desktops drove a stronger CPA than tablets.
  • For mobile ads, the most efficient environment was the mobile web on Android devices. For desktop ads, the Chrome browser performed the best.

The exceedingly efficient CPA indicated that the campaign was well received by consumers. Additionally, the nearly 100 percent video-completion rate showed that the campaign was able to engage consumers with the "Belonging Begins with Us" message.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Social Impact/Not For Profit, Video Advertising | Awards: NA Finalist