Hanks to front ad campaign for National WWII memorial

LONDON - Saving Private Ryan Oscar-nominee Tom Hanks is to appear in his first public service campaign to help generate public awareness and support for a US National World War II Memorial to be built in Washington DC.

Sponsored by The Advertising Council, which had its origins in World War II, the ad campaign will break this spring and will include television, radio and print work.

According to Hanks: "After the experience of making Saving Private Ryan, I was surprised to realise there is no national memorial to honour the men and women who served in World War II. When I learned that the memorial could become a reality, I immediately wanted to be part of the effort."

TV spots and radio are expected to begin running later this month with print ads in April. The TV ads were directed by award-winning director Joe Pytka, and created by Marsteller Advertising together with its sister ad agency, Young & Rubicam.

A private, non-profit organisation, the Ad Council was founded in 1942, as the War Advertising Council, to rally support for the war effort. The Ad Council created public service campaigns that raised $35 billion in War Bonds, encouraged the planting of 50 million Victory Gardens, and recruited 2 million women into the work force through the Rosie the Riveter campaign.

After the war President Truman asked it to continue as a peacetime non-government public-service organisation to help solve the most pressing social issues of the day.

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