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The Ad Council and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation Launch PSAs to Encourage Young Adults to “Skip the Drama” and Pursue their GED® Diploma

PSAs feature Kristian Alfonso from Days of Our Lives, John York from General Hospital and Country Music Star Dustin Lynch

/ PR Newswire / — Today, the Ad Council and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation launched new public service advertisements PSAs) on behalf of their national GED® Achievement campaign. This highly impactful multimedia campaign is designed to provide high school dropouts the information and encouragement needed to begin the road to earning a GED® diploma.
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According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 37 million adults do not have a high school diploma. This new public service campaign is aimed at addressing this critical issue. Recent data shows nearly 30 percent of adults with household incomes at or below the federal poverty line do not have a high school credential. Many people without a GED® diploma must work multiple jobs to make ends meet and may work jobs with lower pay and less stability.

“Our goal with this campaign is to encourage people to pursue their dreams through education. Obtaining a GED® diploma is often the first step toward a college degree or better job and a brighter future,” said Denine Torr, director of Dollar General’s community initiatives. “We believe the theme, ‘Skip the Drama,’ will connect with people and emphasize the idea that once they’ve earned their GED® diploma, they can pursue a career with confidence.”

Created pro bono by McCann XBC, a unit of McCann Erickson, the new English and Spanish–language television, radio, print/OOH and online PSAs encourage viewers to take the first steps toward obtaining their GED® diploma. The “Skip the Drama” campaign highlights how not having a GED® diploma can cause unnecessary drama, and situations like filling out a job application that seem normal and mundane can become nerve–wracking and intense when questions of education arise. The PSAs, featuring Kristian Alfonso from Days of Our Lives and John York from General Hospital, draw a humorous parallel between the drama of not having GED® credentials and the drama on television soap operas.

“These clever ads are a wonderful extension of our campaign, and I believe they will motivate young adults to take the necessary steps to achieve their GED diploma,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Our goal is to encourage young adults to access local resources that will help them begin their journey to a brighter future through a GED®.”

“The goal isn’t to convince people that they should get their GED®, they already know that, but to gently push them to take that first step,” said Susan Young, Group Creative Director of McCann XBC. “We wanted to show the drama that comes with not having your GED® but we didn’t want to make it too heavy or sad so we went for a good soap opera drama,” added Daniela Vojta, Group Creative Director.

To extend the campaign’s reach, Country Music Television (CMT) partnered with McCann to create additional pro bono PSAs featuring country musician Dustin Lynch. These television and radio spots reinforce the importance of obtaining a GED® diploma and support the network’s CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION initiative, which aims to inspire viewers to further their education and arm them with the tools to do so.

All campaign elements direct audiences to visit where they can learn more about the GED® diploma process and find inspirational stories from other young adults who have already earned their GED® diploma. Visitors can also find local literacy centers by accessing a zip code search or by calling a dedicated hotline, 1–877–38–YOURGED.

Since its inception in 2010, the Ad Council and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation GED® Achievement campaign has helped more than 600,000 adults find free GED® test–prep classes in their area and received more than $80 million in donated media. Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs are distributed to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide and run on air time and space entirely donated by the media.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $94 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 5.4 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, visit

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non–profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.

McCann XBC
McCann XBC, a division of McCann Erickson, is built around one of the agency’s largest global clients, MasterCard. McCann Erickson is the founding unit of McCann Worldgroup, a leading global marketing services company comprising in addition to McCann Erickson, MRM//McCann (digital marketing/relationship management), Momentum Worldwide (total brand experience), McCann Health (professional/dtc communications), CRAFT (global adaptation and production), UM (media management), Weber Shandwick (public relations), FutureBrand (consulting/design), ChaseDesign (shopper marketing) and PMK–BNC (entertainment/brand/popular culture).

Source: Ad Council
Media Contact:
Meg Rushton
Ad Council
[email protected]

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