scattered letters

Thursday Thinky: Age, Bias & Dyslexia

Biases, they’re everywhere. Some are obvious, some are hidden, but they’re all one way or another shaping our perceptions and decision making process. If you can recognize and spot them, however, they can be very powerful.

So this week, every campaign that we are sharing with you is exposing some form of bias. Whether it is towards ageism, against creativity, or by challenging people with dyslexia, discover how these brands, cities, or initiatives reframe conversations.

Happy Thursday!



Tackling Big Issues 


Toronto – How the city of Toronto is fighting ageism in the workplace…by celebrating all the benefits of getting older (

LOVE THIS. I wish the website itself was a little better, but this hits on some MAJOR cultural biases and is such a creative way to reframe the conversation. The work comes from an unlikely place, and it does require you to click the “what is this?” link on the main microsite in order to get to the actions they’re asking you to take, but it’s a beautiful nugget of an idea based on a super solid insight.


We would have loved to have seen this taken further–setting up a mock beauty counter at a department store and seeing how people actually react to the product. Sending physical “samples” to workplaces/HR leads with information about how to overcome ageism in their own companies. Getting a local celeb/influencer to create YouTube beauty videos about it.


Thinky Grade: A-



The Ministry of Stories’ programs help kids nurture their creativity — since it’s being slowly squeezed out of daily school curriculum (Creative Review)

Write a letter to an imaginary monster, and get a reply back. Create songs together. Freestyle rap. Have no rules about sitting still in chairs, eyes facing forward. A community believed that kids were being robbed of the freedom to explore their creativity in schools, and so they created an organization, and physical home, to help nurture their self expression. It’s a lot of fun and silliness, but it also builds self confidence that translates back into their performance in the classroom.



SuperBowl Takeaways


Michelob – Michelob’s Super Bowl spot launches “6 for 6” program to support organic farming (YouTube)

This, surprisingly, was one of the very few cause/purpose driven spots of the night. It’s an expansion of the Contract for Change program Michelob launched last year, in partnership with the CCOF Foundation, to provide technical assistance to farmers as they figure out how to transition to growing certified organic crops. So they clearly have the creds to support the more consumer facing part of their effort (and their 2025 sustainability goals) that they promoted in this spot: giving a portion of the sales of every 6-pack to help farmers transition 6 sq ft of their land to organic crops.

BUT… (you knew there was a but coming)…the spot itself is so very…meh. It felt like they were trying to appeal to pop culture vs telling a story of the issue and the impact, or for that matter, the brand’s connection to it. Doing some cool cinematography instead of connecting back to the heart of the issue and the effort. We felt like this should have made a bigger impact. We wanted to walk away saying “wow, that’s pretty awesome. I’m going to buy Michelob next time.” But instead we were just left scratching our heads a little bit, and needed to watch the spot again/read the article to really understand what they were getting at.


Thinky Grade: C+



Snickers – Clio names the #SnickersFixtheWorld ad (with the giant hole) their “Super Clio” winner of being the Super Bowl’s best ad (Muse by Clio)

What did you think of this ad? We actually rather enjoyed this spot… until we came across and read this. And it kinda made us rethink our first take on it.


Thinky Grade: N/A



Getting Inspired


Sydlexia – Beautifully designed posters demonstrate the challenges that people with dyslexia face, hoping to drive understanding and empathy (Behance)

Design can have such a profound impact on driving awareness of issues, and also helping to solve them. Design doesn’t just mean posters, ads, physical things, even though in this case the concept came to life through paper. It can mean experiences, products, solutions, innovations, etc.


We all have the ability to think about solving our clients’ problems from multiple perspectives: yes, how do we address their marketing challenges, but how do we also become partners in helping them solve the issues that are at the core of their mission–and by extension of that great work, address their marketing challenges in the process? If we think about design not just as a visual element of creative, but as a vehicle for communication and influence that can take infinite shapes and forms, how can that change the way we approach our work?



WikiHarvest – A food rescue org in New Zealand, lives its mission by upcycling food billboards for its annual report (The Drum)

“New Zealand-based KiwiHarvest is a not for profit that captures surplus food destined for landfill and diverts to agencies who directly address food insecurity in New Zealand.” 

The only thing that could have been better is if they figured out a way to turn the actual food into paper pulp and used that for the report. Great job, though!



There’s so much more to talk about when it comes to effectiveness and measurement…but that’s a post for another day. Thanks for reading today’s Thinky. See you next week!

PS: If any of the above made your wheels spin, we’d love to hear your thoughts–get in touch with us!

Interested in getting this Thinky in your inbox every Thursday? Let us know!


Related Posts