blue orange fruit sliced in half

Thursday Thinky: Bold, Refreshing & Uncomfortable

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the office not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The OOO messages were crafted with care, in hopes that emails soon would stop coming there…

Sorry, I only got that far. But, to make it up to you, here’s a really good Thursday Thinky, full of gems!

We have bold campaigns coming from India and from Patagonia, refreshing work all over the healthcare industry but also from Pantene and from a super dad, and an ad that makes you uncomfortable to uncover your own biases. We did not want to ruin the festive spirit of the Holidays but… we also had to share the #ChooseWomen launch campaign announcing that a robot who looks like a woman, instead of a real woman, will be their spokesperson… We had to!


Tackling Big Issues


Project Streedhan – Powerful campaign speaks directly to Indian women to get them to eat more iron (Muse by Clio)

It’s always fascinating to see work that tries to break through social norms in order to achieve a greater good. This bold and ambitious campaign from India does just that on a few fronts. It starts by building on a relevant construct, but flips expectations to show women eating on screen (a big taboo there), casting a transgender actor (an even bigger taboo), and communicating a powerful health message, directly to women. Loved it!



Calgary Society for Persons with Disability – Creating fake TV spots to make you uncomfortable (Muse by Clio)

Any creative work that gets people to recognize and question their own biases is worth a second look. This effort addresses the issue that the media and pop culture don’t do a great job of representing people with disabilities in any kind of public forums. Here, the focus is on entertainment but they’re also making this more of an activism/public plea than just an awareness play, asking people in the entertainment industry to commit to giving more people with disabilities a voice. Do you think it will be effective?



#ChooseWomen – Launching… with a robot as a spokesperson (Campaign Live)

Ehhhhhh…I really just don’t get this one at all. Cool to have a day to support women owned businesses. I mean, there’s Small Business Saturday, so why not? But I don’t understand the robot. Or the video. Or the website design (it feels like we’re being yelled at, and hasn’t the glass ceiling trope been done?). There’s also nothing on the site that speaks to the donation mentioned in the article in conjunction with using . the #ChooseWOMEN hashtag…so, yeah. What do you think?


Brands That Caught Our Eye


Pantene – Pantene and The Dresscode Project team up for a trans-visibility campaign (Teen vogue)

What I like about this partnership is that it’s a natural fit for Pantene, while also managing to not come off as overtly self-serving, or like it’s capitalizing on a hot-button news cycle story. It’s also built on some really strong insights–that 93% of UK trans people have been misgendered during a salon visit, with 29% feeling stressed every time they visit a hair salon. There was a clear human problem here for them to solve, and working with an organization already in that space was smart and strategic. I only wished they had a landing page or some other presence to activate the campaign. Do you?



Patagonia – Make a donation on behalf of someone who doesn’t believe in climate change–and they’ll match it (Fast Company)

You can always count on Patagonia to champion the planet, and this time, also the underdog. Crazy uncle who thinks global warming is all a hoax? Make a donation to a grassroots environmental org in his name through Patagonia’s Action Works platform! The angle here is cool, even though it’s pretty much just a matching donation campaign. It’s also not unlike the thousands of people who donated to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name, so it should get similar conversation/traction. Good job!


The Many Facets of Design & Creativity


The changing face of healthcare branding (and design, and strategy…) (Creative Review)

From product and platform design, to marketing and outreach, to the brands themselves, consumer healthcare might be one of the most quickly evolving landscapes. The work here is a breath of fresh air, and feels like a giant step toward the democratization and personal empowerment of health and wellness. Check it out!



A handful of creatives from The Martin Agency rewrote classic fairy tales to overcome gender stereotypes  (Campaign Live)

This is a lovely passion project, started by a dad (and creative SVP) in advertising, who realized a massive “damsel in distress” issue with standard fairy tales as he was reading to his two young daughters. So he decided to do something about it. With a few other folks at the agency, the small team created “Now Upon a Time,” a series of six reimagined stories brought to life through podcasts, audiobooks, and accompanying video content. The team is making everything available for free, and is trying to work with nonprofits to help spread reach.


That’s it for today’s Thinky. See you next week!

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

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