Friday, September 16, 2011

Doing the Right Thing

One of the best 9/11 tributes I saw this past weekend was the State Farm commercial running during the NFL games on Sunday. No, it was not a message on the importance of whole life insurance (though that could be the subtext). It was a simple tribute to New York City and its fire department, featuring the kids of New York serenading them with a wistful little number:

For those of you not cognizant of the cutting edge urban scene, that song is Empire State of Mind by Jay Z. As I've always said, you strip the rappin' out of it and that Jay Z music can be kind of entertaining.

Turns out that commercial was directed by Spike Lee. Say what you will about his politics, the guy is a talented director and always makes interesting movies.

Here's a short behind-the-scenes "making of" video for the commercial. It's compelling stuff, especially with the kids talking about what's great about New York, and what they mention are the chances for opportunity and importance of individual effort. Then the part where the fireman is rapid-fire putting names to the faces on the pictures of the 9/11 deceased from his firehouse, as the lilting melody plays underneath, is very effective.

Elevation, baby.