Optimists ad featuring political scientist Lynn Vavreck

The inventor of a process that turns pollution into concrete. A political scientist with uncommon political insights. The tech executive who made smartphones more intelligent. And the sociologist whose research linking box office receipts and TV ratings to Hollywood’s diversity dilemma has flipped the script on what succeeds in show business.

These are just some of the alumni and faculty featured in UCLA’s fall 2016 Optimists campaign.

The effort, which launched this month and runs through the end of the year, includes digital, print, outdoor, radio and TV. It continues last year’s campaign themes of transformation and progress while exploring new stories that demonstrate the influence of optimism, the unique can-do attitude of UCLA faculty, students and alumni that has led to breakthrough after breakthrough for almost 100 years.

Every ad in the campaign invites the audience to visit the Optimists website.

“UCLA faculty and alumni are engines of positive change around the world, in an infinite number of ways, from groundbreaking innovations addressing illness and climate change to creating change through research on critical social and political issues,” said Kathryn Kranhold, UCLA’s associate vice chancellor for university communications and marketing.

“With our newest Optimists campaign, we build on the past and look to the future, featuring UCLA innovators who are developing breakthrough therapies and driving change through public policy, underscoring UCLA’s impact on Los Angeles, the nation and the world.”

The 2016 ads highlight a new crop of UCLA faculty and alumni all-stars, beginning with:

  • Professor Gaurav Sant, whose team discovered a novel way to make concrete
  • Artificial intelligence pioneer Adam Cheyer, a UCLA graduate and  co-founder of Siri, Inc.
  • Professor Lynn Vavreck, one of the nation’s most respected experts on presidential campaigns and a New York Times columnist
  • Darnell Hunt, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African-American Studies at UCLA and co-author of the widely read Hollywood Diversity Report

Others to be featured during the campaign will be:

  • Olympian, marathon champion, former refugee and UCLA alumnus Meb Keflezighi
  • Los Angeles Sparks President and COO and UCLA alumna Christine Simmons
  • UCLA genetics researcher Dan Geschwind
  • UCLA women’s gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field
  • UCLA professor Elizabeth Laugeson, creator of a groundbreaking program that teaches social skills to autistic children and teens
  • UCLA professor Abel Valenzuela, a scholar on day laborers and a preeminent researcher on immigration in the U.S.

The campaign’s digital platforms include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as targeted communication to UCLA alumni through LinkedIn and Facebook. UCLA receives free air time to air spots during NCAA sports telecasts and ads will run during local cable programming and public television programs such as “Charlie Rose,” “Tavis Smiley” and “PBS NewsHour.” Out-of-home includes static and digital billboards, buses and signage at Los Angeles International Airport. Spots will air on Southern California radio stations KNX-AM, KPCC-FM and KCRW-FM, and print ads will run in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Variety, Wired and the Los Angeles Business Journal, among others.