Last week, Fast Company named our video, “The Honest Truth,” as one of the 20 Best Ads of 2014. Not only is it an honor to receive such prestigious recognition, but we’re thrilled that our cause ranks alongside the likes of big-budget Super Bowl commercials and even car ads starring Matthew McConaughey. Indeed, we’re in pretty good company—but not in the way you might think. The winning “ad” was not for Call of Duty, but rather a public service announcement we produced to make people aware of the tough challenges young veterans face trying to get a good job. Rather than trying to speak for these vets, we decided to let them tell their own stories, which you can watch here:
Veterans aged 20 to 24 are 50% more likely to be unemployed than their non-veteran peers. After their service and sacrifice, that’s just not right—especially when you realize all of the great skills they’ve picked up in the military. And while we loved making it, this short film was not a one-off effort. Rather, it’s part of Activision’s much larger campaign to put young veterans into high quality jobs through The Call of Duty Endowment. Founded in 2009, the Endowment has funded the placement of over 8,800 veterans into meaningful careers. We’re proud of this accolade for our film, but we’re even more proud of what we've accomplished for our vets this year working with our funded non-profits:
Made over $5 million in grants that helped over 20,000 job seeking veterans
Placed over 6,800 of these vets into quality jobs
Reduced average cost-per-placement from $1,286 last year to $957 this year
Made placements into full-time work 94% of the time
Drove job placements resulting in average starting salaries of over $46,000 (above the national average of $45,000)
Launched an Activision Blizzard Day of Service where 600 employees did veteran-focused community service projects
There’s a lot more we plan to do for vets in the time ahead and none of it would be possible without the continuing fantastic support of Call of Duty gamers. As a vet who has the privilege to run the Endowment, I’m truly grateful!
Dan Goldenberg is Executive Director of The Call of Duty Endowment. He’s a veteran and business professional who currently serves as a commander in the Navy Reserve. Follow @CODE4Vets on Twitter and Like the Call of Duty Endowment on Facebook.