How an acceptance speech for a design award turned into a PSA for mental health
A moving acceptance speech given last week at the Advertising and Design Club of Canada awards turned out to be not at all what it seemed.
When the award winner was called, a man identified as a design director for a company called Mindworks took the stage and said, “I want to thank the judges, it was a real labor of love,” before quickly transitioning to an intensely personal story of how he has been struggling with anxiety and depression after his father recently passed.
As he spoke, attendees grew captivated by the speech. “I should have done it sooner,” the award winner continues, “because how long can you go on pretending everything is OK?”
Then the reveal: He ended with, “I called NABS, thank you.”
It's an actor, and the company and award is fictional. As he walked off the stage, the number for the National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS)—an organization founded in 1983 that provides mental health, health and wellness, career and financial support to people in advertising—came on the screen behind him.
The stunt was part of an ongoing campaign from NABS and (the very real) agency Cossette to raise awareness to the mental health issues that especially affect people in advertising. According to the organization, anxiety-related calls to NABS are almost double the Canadian average. “As an industry we are realizing that the only true asset we have is people,” says Jay Bertram, executive director at NABS. “Agencies are investing more than ever in their people and NABS is here to support them and provide services that are outside of the scope of most HR departments.”
Watch how the stunt plays out in the PSA below.
Dentsu Aegis is getting new digs
Dentsu Aegis Network, and all of its agencies, will be moving into new joint headquarters in New York. The holding company says it signed a 15-year lease this week on the 320,000-square-foot office space at Tishman Speyer’s Morgan North redevelopment in Manhattan’s West Chelsea district. The building, constructed in 1933, spans an entire city block from Ninth Avenue to Tenth Avenue and 29th Street to 30th Street. Under the lease, Dentsu will take over half of the property’s 200,000-square-foot sixth floor and all of floors seven through 10. The space includes an eighth-floor terrace and rooftop space, exclusive to Dentsu employees. It will have shared access to a 2.5-acre, seventh-floor roof deck as well. All of Dentsu’s New York-based agencies, including McGarryBowen and 360i, will relocate to the new space. The company says the goal is to begin the move in 2022 and all of its New York-based employees will be relocated in 2023.
“Our various agencies are currently housed in four separate locations across New York City and we have been searching for some time for the ideal location to bring us all together under one roof,” says Nick Brien, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Nework. “We’re excited to have found this semi-industrial building which allows for our 24 leading agencies to operate in a more fluid and dynamic environment across in the creative, media and experiential marketing space.”
Fuck dogs and fuck trees
Fuck man, Gary Vaynerchuk says "fuck" a fuck ton. This is probably not news to anyone who knows the outspoken founder of VaynerMedia—or to anyone really who even remotely knows of him. But, thanks to a handy search engine to sift through all of Gary Vee’s content that Gary Vee updated and launched himself this week, Ad Age has proven that, yes, Gary Vee says “fuck” a fucking lot. In fact, after looking at seemingly endless pages of results (screenshot below) for how many times Vaynerchuk has dropped the F-bomb, I eventually just had to stop hitting the “load more” button (for my sanity). Dear readers (assuming I have readers), if you have no life and can count the times Vaynerchuk has said “fuck” in videos, drinks are on me. Otherwise, in summary, the results show: “Fuck that,” “Fuck it,” “Fuck you” and (sigh) "Fuck!” Also, “fuck dogs and fuck trees.”
“I launched the search engine because I thought it could bring value for people looking for a specific insight or to recall something they heard in the past and want to use it,” Vaynerchuk says. “As for ‘fuck,’ I think I use it a lot because it was wildly used in New Jersey growing up and it's my communications style.”
As a Jersey girl myself, I can fucking appreciate that.
We Are Social, a social-led creative shop based in London, is expanding its footprint to Canada with the opening of its 15th international office in Toronto. The office is led by Managing Director Coby Shuman, who joined We Are Social in August from Huge, where he was credited with helping build that agency’s Canadian outpost. Shuman reports to U.K. CEO Jim Coleman. We Are Social says its Toronto office is already working with clients including Yokohama, Intuit and Lorex. The opening of the office is part of a larger expansion plan the agency says it is pursuing to enter “influential and culturally active social markets.” The agency says the Toronto expansion was made possible by a partnership with Vision7, a Canadian marketing group that houses shops like Eleven and Cossette. We Are Social Toronto is stationed in Vision7’s growing Canadian campus. The agency also opened an office in Tokyo this year and, in 2018, expanded to Hong Kong, Madrid and Dubai—the last through its acquisition of agency Socialize. “Canada’s cultural diversity presents enormous opportunity for the international brands, homegrown global brands, and our thriving startup community to create a social value exchange with their audiences,” Shuman says.
Knoxville-based Tombras secured three new wins: Nutrisystem, FreshDirect and Harry’s Razors join the agency’s roster of clients. As of August, Tombras became lead creative agency for Philadelphia-based Nutrisystem, and expects its first campaign for the brand to launch in late December. FreshDirect handed its creative and media businesses to Tombras, which will partner with the company’s in-house teams to debut new work sometime in 2020. Harry’s Razors, acquired by Schick parent Edgewell Personal Care Brands for $1.37 billion, named Tombras its lead creative agency and a new national campaign is expected to roll out by the end of the year. To serve the new clients, Tombras says it opened an office in New York last month. “We’ve been eyeing an expansion to New York for quite some time, and because we don’t subscribe to the philosophy that ‘if you build it they will come’ have waited until now to open an office here,” says Dooley Tombras, agency president. She adds that Tombras is “currently in a number of pitches that will bolster our position.”
Interpublic Group of Cos' Golin picked up two new pieces of business: Lego and Twitter. The agency now leads Lego Americas’ public relations efforts across the U.S., Canada and Latin America following a competitive pitch. For Twitter, Golin wins lead North American consumer branding and product communications, including storytelling strategy across print and digital media, and social and influencer work, following a review. The Twitter win was first reported by PRWeek.
IPG’s UM won more business from Energizer after picking up its North American media account in February following a review. UM is now media agency of record in the U.S. for Armor All, the maker of automotive products that Energizer Holdings bought earlier this year, as well as the company’s battery and lights brand, Rayovac. Under the expanded partnership, UM is now responsible for the strategy, planning, buying, research and data and analytics of Armor All and Rayovac. “Our growing relationship with UM is testament to the meaningful work they’ve delivered for our brand in a short period of time,” says Lori Shambo, global chief marketing officer for Energizer Holdings.
Beiersdorf named WPP as its lead global agency partner for its Eucerin and Hansaplast/Elastoplast derma and healthcare brands. The partnership takes effect in January. Wunderman Thompson and the WPP Health Practice will handle the account across strategy, digital, creative and analytics. This follows Beiersdorf’s earlier decision to name Wunderman Thompson as its lead digital campaign agency for its derma and healthcare brands. “Over the last years we have seen a significant transformation in advertising realities, with a strong shift to digital. Teaming up with Wunderman Thompson was the first step to jointly conquer this market challenge that is especially intense for the derma and healthcare business,” says Vincent Warnery, board member of Beiersdorf’s pharmacy and selective business. “Expanding our partnership with WPP from digital to also creative and delivering an integrated model was the obvious choice.”
Ocean Spray Cranberries selects KWG as its new consumer media agency of record following a review. KWG, a data-driven marketing firm with a specialty media division, will be tasked with strengthening Ocean Spray’s brand awareness and amplifying its self-proclaimed “mission to connect farms to families” on a national level. KWG will support Ocean Spray’s core food and juice business through media strategy, buying across all channels and delivering an analytics and measurement platform. Ocean Spray also recently appointed Energy BBDO, which won the global Brown-Forman account this week, to lead its creative work.