The Best Work You May Never See: Ogilvy, Director Gabriel Novis "Tear The Paper Ceiling" For Ad Council


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022


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Over the last few years there have been a myriad of conversations around economic mobility, “talent shortages,” and efforts to create a more equitable workforce. Now, the Ad Council is launching a campaign from agency Ogilvy that shines a light on the skills and potential of the 70+ million workers in the U.S. who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs), rather than through a bachelor’s degree.

STARs make up 50% of the U.S. workforce, and they’ve built valuable skills through community college, workforce training, certificate programs, military service, or on-the-job learning. The “paper ceiling” they face represents the invisible barriers (like biased algorithms, degree screens, stereotypes, and the lack of alumni networks) that hold STARs back from upward mobility in their careers. By creating a movement to acknowledge this barrier exists, we can start to break it down. 

"Tear the Paper Ceiling" is a landmark initiative led by the Ad Council and Opportunity@Work to change mindsets, transform hiring practices, and move more workers without college degrees into higher-wage roles. The initiative is supported by a coalition of 30+ nonprofits, talent developers, and businesses including Comcast NBCUniversal, Google, IBM, LinkedIn and Walmart.

This anthem PSA was directed by Gabriel Novis of production house Los York.


Client The Ad Council Michelle Hillman, chief campaign development officer; Dzu Bui, VP, group campaign director; Mary Zost, campaign director; Kayla Sykes, assistant campaign manager. Agency Ogilvy Devika Bulchandani, global president and CEO; Liz Taylor, global chief creative officer; Chris Beresford-Hill, president, Ogilvy Advertising, North America ; Anibal Casso, chief strategy officer, North America; Carina De Blois, president, New York; Menno Kluin, Marcos Kotlhar, chief creative officers, New York; George Sholley, head of production, North America ; Jeff Curry, global executive creative director ; Andrea Messer, Dinesh Kapoor, group creative directors; Jonathan Gibson, executive group director; Jess Ryle, producer; Grace Donahue, sr. art director; Gillian Goodman, sr. copywriter; Yung Lee, sr. designer ; Anna Fecskes, executive producer, experiential. Production Los York Gabriel Novis, director; Jeremy Snell, DP. Editorial Cut+Run Mah Ferraz, editor. Music Found Objects

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