Some advertisements are iconic. They take on a life and sometimes a legend of their own. The political ads that have managed this feat are few and far between. Some are legendary for their appeal to fear, such as the Johnson ad that threatened nuclear war if Goldwater was elected. Fewer still are the ads that are memorable because they appealed to what is best in us, hope.
This past week, Hal Riney, the advertising executive who created one such iconic ad passed away. Riney was responsible for creating the “It’s Morning Again in America” ad for Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign.
When watching the ad I was amazed how it brought me back to that time. Having suffered through economic hard times and a morale deficit in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the country needed to have hope again. By 1984 most of the country felt as if they had weathered the storm and that day light was finally breaking.
More amazing still, is how this ad reminded me of how I feel today.
No, not about the economy or national morale but about my Church, the Catholic Church. I feel — as I suspect do many others — that we have weathered the storm and that daylight is finally breaking. After decades of wandering aimlessly in to deeper and darker waters, morning has broken and we are finally making our way back to port. While we are still far from safe harbor, for the first time in a long time I believe we are headed in the right direction. So, for me, it is Morning again in the Catholic Church.
So as a tribute to Hal Riney and as way to express my hope for the future, I put together this video.