State Department “Shared Values Initiative”

In October 2002, the U.S. State Department’s public diplomacy office, launched the Shared Values Initiative (SVI). The goal of SVI was to convince the Arab and Muslim world that America wasn’t waging war on Islam.

SVI was a complete and integrated communication campaign. It included speeches by diplomats and American Muslims to international audiences, town hall events in several countries, Internet sites and chat rooms, a 60-page four-color magazine titled Muslim Life in America, a series of newspaper and radio ads and five television commercials.

My partner and I that created the commercials and newspaper ads. All components of the SVI campaign were produced in English and various Middle Eastern languages for broadcast over Middle Eastern and Asian television stations.

All of the ads featured actual American Muslims discussing the ability to actively practice their religion and commenting positively on the tolerance Americans have for the Muslim faith. The SVI television campaign began airing October 29, 2002 in Indonesia, which is the largest Muslim nation in the world. The ads were then broadcast in a sequential rollout to other Muslim countries.