This hard-hitting spot portrays what can happen to families without the YMCA's support

Canadian production company Skin & Bones created the ad for the Y of Greater Toronto

Published On
Jan 06, 2020

Editor's Pick

It's that time of year when parents may be thinking of signing up their kids for a summer camp, and a new Canadian spot for the YMCA emphasizes its role in supporting families by imagining a world where the Y doesn't exist. 

The ad, created by Toronto production company Skin & Bones for the YMCA of Greater Toronto, plays out as two alternate scenarios. In the first, the mother of an immigrant family is busy preparing dinner waiting for her daughter to return from summer camp at the Y. Outside, it's a sunny day in suburbia, with her younger brother happily playing with a neighbor. 

However, in the alternate universe, there's no Y, and the daughter has gone missing. It's dusk, the house is a mess and the neighborhood seems rougher and full of trouble. It ends with a police car drawing up at the house, filling the mother with a look of dread. 

“A World Without Y” was conceived by director Edward Andrews of Skin & Bones and creative director Jonathan Guy, who were tasked with developing a concept that shows how the YMCA helps solve social problems in communities through providing support for everyone regardless of status or income. To place the viewer in the center of each reality, Andrews filmed the story as a continuous one-take. Actors repeated the same movements and dialog in each world. 

“Filming it as a one-take was the only way to do it; we didn’t want to do a spot full of vignettes,” Guy says. “It allowed us to take you on a journey with our mother and feel everything she feels but also reveal how each of her two worlds are affected.”



Jan 06, 2020
Client :
Production Company :
Skin & Bones
Chief Development :
Wendy McDowall
Sr. Director Capital Campaign :
Ali Kashani
Sr. Communications Manager :
Karolina Hordowick
Creative Director :
Jonathan Guy
Production Company :
Skin and Bones Film Company
Executive Producer :
Liane Thomas
Director :
Edward Andrews
Director of Photography :
Jordan Kennington
Steadi-Cam Operator :
Russ De Jong
Line Producer :
Luke Bryant
Production Designer :
Rudin Causi
Stylist :
Jessica Albano
Casting :
Shasta Lutz
Casting :
Jigsaw Casting
Editorial :
The Assembly
Editor :
Warren Goodwin
Assistant Editor :
Lia Han
Producer :
Katie Oliver
Executive Producer :
Tasha Jameson
Color and VFX :
Alter Ego
Colorist :
Wade Odlum
Color Assistant :
Evan Spicer
VFX Artist :
Joel Osis
VFX Assistant :
Hali Gale
Producer :
Spencer Butt
Executive Producer :
Hilda Pereira
Audio House :
Sound Design & Mix :
Didier Tovel
Executive Producer :
Alison Lawee

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type