Thursday Thinky: Empathy, Charity & Monopoly

Happy new year!

As you may, or may not, know, we started this week by celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Even if I did eat the traditional apple with honey and sesame seeds, I have to confess that I’m not much of a religious man. However, my childhood memories make me think of Rosh Hashanah as a time to start fresh and aim to do and be better than the year that just ended.

In a way, it is an ode to empathy: “This year, may our eyes open wider, may our hearts expand further, and may we perceive the face of one another,” said Rabbi Yonathan Cohen.

You guessed it, empathy is the main focus of this week’s Thinky! Through this lens, we take a look at the postpartum experience, addiction, and innovation for blind people, but also campaigns that could have used a little more compassion.

May you have a beautiful new year!

The Wonderful World of Cause Marketing


Frida – Launching postpartum products…with footage of its CEO giving birth (Muse by Clio)

This is a great example of a brand solving a need. Moms at Media Cause appreciated that Frida took on the postpartum experience. They recognized the issue, showed it to the world, and addressed it as it really is. And, what else than their own CEO giving birth to test their product? Can’t get any more real. Bravo!



Burger King – For one day, BK stops selling Whoppers and tells folks to buy a Big Mac instead (The Drum)

You know the feud between BK and MickeyD’s is real. But in Argentina, for one day a year, BK extends an olive branch in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Essentially, they STOP selling Whoppers and tell their customers to go buy Big Macs instead, since sales from Big Macs that day go to the kids’ cancer charity.
On the surface, it’s a great initiative, but my first thought after reading the details of the campaign were: Why not go all the way and close BK for a day? And why does not McDonald’s give ALL the proceeds of that day to the charity instead of just the $2 per Big Mac? Then, thinking about it a little more, are there any other aspects of the campaign? Is there a way for people to donate to the charity directly in both stores? What do you think?



Hasbro – Taking on the gender pay gap with new Ms. Monopoly game (

Apparently Hasbro thinks Monopoly unfairly favors men in its classic game, and decided they needed a “female forward” version that pays women more at every turn. This got us very conflicted. On one hand, it is great that Hasbro is trying to tackle the gender pay gap. On the other, is creating a pay gap in a game where everyone was equal a good idea? If so, why not create a parody game in which male players would receive money to raise awareness about the real life issue? We had so much to say about it that we turned it into the next blog post of our What Gives? series, check it out!



For more Cause Marketing need-to-knows, check out our Cause-Marketing 101 webinar!

Non-Profits Tackling Big Issues


WeWalk – Blind engineer builds a smart cane powered by Google Maps (Bored Panda)

Amazing, innovative, creative, genius, we could go on and on about this product. Engineers at Turkish company WeWalk started with a simple statement: “In these days, we are talking about flying cars, but these people [blind people] have been using just a plain stick.” The cane, which is equipped with built-in speakers, a voice assistant, Google, and sensors that send vibrations to warn about obstacles above chest level, was invented by a visually impaired engineer Kursat Ceylan, who is the CEO and co-founder of Young Guru Academy (YGA), the Turkish non-profit behind WeWALK. SOLVING REAL WORLD PROBLEMS FTW!



Understanding addiction by going through it yourself  (Muse by Clio)

This is another beautiful work, putting empathy at the forefront. “This project’s ultimate goal, is to raise the collective consciousness and remove the stigma around addiction so that people like my friends will be comfortable enough to come forward and get the help that they need.” From a creative standpoint, the cinematography, editing, and narration are beautiful. From a strategic  standpoint, this couldn’t be more raw and honest. By proxy–because we relate to Reilly, the writer–we’re able to better understand the entire situation. Please watch the video. It’s worth the 2 mins.



The Many Facets of Design


MailchimpExploring Mailchimp’s new look (Mailchimp)

The new look itself aside, which is fun, approachable, relatable, and not so big of a departure from their previous brand that it should not get anyone up in arms–the style guide for this is killer. It’s a great narrative that weaves their beliefs in throughout, and expresses their design choices through that same lense–how structural and supportive elements work together to communicate who they are and how they should be perceived. Well done.



Braille Institute – There’s a new typeface by the Braille Institute–that’s not braille at all (Fast Company)

“Not everyone who is vision impaired needs braille. Some just need a clearer typeface.”




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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