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Thursday Thinky: Camouflage, Delivery & Perception

This week has been a blur. It’s even hard to know what day it is but thankfully the Thinky is here to remind you that it is Thursday.

This week, we tried to back to normal by highlighting inspiring campaigns tackling mental health issues, food waste, and bullying in unusual and creative ways. We also look at how design and data can help the fight against the current pandemic in a clever way by leveraging people’s passions.

Stay safe, stay home, and happy Thursday!



Creative & Brand


LíberoSpanish magazine is using soccer stats to get people to stay home (Muse by Clio)

From Amy (SVP Creative + Brand Strategy):The design of these print ads from Spanish soccer magazine Libero is striking in its color and texture composition, but the thinking behind the concept is even more beautiful in its simplicity. To encourage Spanyards to stay at home during the COVID-19 crisis, Libero and David Madrid, their agency partner, unearthed team and individual player stats revealing a story that’s increasingly relevant right now: good things happen at home.

Of course, they’re talking about their home arenas/stadiums, but the stats don’t lie. The ads pull double duty of making a point for avoiding any unnecessary travel, while also promoting work free access to Libero’s online archives while professional sports are on hold. One of the reasons this works so well, beyond the aesthetics, is that speaks its audience’s language without being heavyhanded. Nicely done.



Israeli Presidential Office – Don’t just stand by (Ads of the World)

From Amy (SVP Creative + Brand Strategy): Bullying has become a massive issue for so many of our kids: in our schools, and on social media. But it’s not just a US concern—it’s happening all over the world.In Israel, a study reported that more students would rather experience physical violence than bullying. That’s just how damaging they know being on the receiving end of other kids’ harsh words and actions can be. But instead of trying to get the bullies to stop, or the victims to speak up, the office of the President of the State of Israel created a campaign to speak to the bystanders—the kids who aren’t actively bullying, but also aren’t stopping it.

This strategy is smart, realizing that trying to stop aggressive kids, or provide courage to fearful ones, are both herculean tasks. However, the execution is where I’m raising my eyebrows. I can’t speak for Israeli students, but I’m not sure how much clout any member of the government would hold in the eyes and minds of our middle schoolers. If Mike Pence asked kids to jump into action and stand up for their friends…well…how do you think that would go down? They tried to keep the tone and the graphics bright and playful, but its naive to think that’s all it takes to get kids to listen. Overall, while the intent here was honorable, the delivery missed the mark.


Taxi – This Line of Camouflage Apparel Illustrates How We Hide Mental Health Problems (Muse by Clio)

From Amy (SVP Creative + Brand Strategy): We often default, in the world of marketing and advertising, to trying to change habits and minds through content. Ads, messages, videos, etc. So I love it when agencies/brands/organizations develop products that are designed to address a social issue or challenge instead.

In this instance, Toronto-based agency Taxi, and the Canadian Mental Health Association joined forces to create a line of camouflage clothes called “”Mental Fatigues” to illustrate how so many of us hide our mental health challenges in plain sight. The use of camo was an interesting choice, because the project isn’t just about post-military related issues. But the analogy and canvas that the concealed pattern provides is relevant to everyone. Each style within the apparel line has a unique color palate and design, with elements to reflect the unique nature of different mental health concerns: anxiety, substance abuse, workplace mental health. I love that the team saw the value in not grouping all “mental health” concerns together, because categorizing them in the same bucket would minimize their impact.

My only knock is that I wish they’d brought a bit more education to the website, so the focus was more of a balance between issue and product. But overall, the boldness, and at the same time, the subtlety of this work is powerful. And the fact that 100% of the proceeds “benefit CMHA—”helping to provide advocacy, programs and resources that enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive,” makes this a wonderful conversation-starter with tangible impact.






Meijer – Going chainwide with Flashfood (Supermarket News)

From Amy (SVP Creative + Brand Strategy):Last year, we worked with NRDC to spread the word about their Save the Food Campaign. But NPOs aren’t the only ones working to reduce food waste.

Meijer, a MI-based grocery chain, recently tested an app that allows shoppers to find, and buy, near-expiring products at a discount. And it worked. After cutting food waste by 10% in four stores, the chain now plans to launch the app in all 246 stores by the end of 2020.

This is such a great example of using technology (and discounts!) to not only change habits—but also perceptions. Instead of this almost-expired food now being seen as undesirable, it’s regarded as something worth seeking out.






DoorDash – Promoting restaurants during the Coronavirus pandemic (AdAge)

From Melvin (Account Director):While the restaurant industry is forescast to lose over $225 billion dollars, DoorDash is trying its absolute best to help restaurateurs across the country. Last Friday, the delivery company launched the #OpenForDelivery Campaign. An initiative meant to remind diners that restaurant delivery is safe and that restaurants are eager for orders at a time where their dining rooms had to close to help slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

The campaign is live in the US and in Canada and features TV spots and social posts leading to a beautiful and simple website. There, you’ll find stories from restaurant owners and chefs and CTAs to order food. But this is where it gets even better. The DoorDash logo is nowhere to be found and has a very limited presence on the ads. In fact, DoorDash has even included its competitors (Caviar, UberEats, Postmates, & GrubHub) on the homepage and in the copy of most of its ads or social posts.

They get it! It’s not about their brand or the cut throat food delivery industry, it’s much bigger than that. It’s about coming together at a time when we need it most. It’s about leading by example. This is a wonderful initiative and by putting it together, the DoorDash brand equity will benefit from it in the long run. Bravo!






Fundraising During the Corona Outbreak: Answers to 5 Pressing Questions (

From Nicola Leckie (Account Director): How to fundraise during the coronavirus crisis – there’s at least one webinar a day right now to help you answer this question. This article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy sums it up nicely and answers: Is it tone-deaf to ask for money right now? What about my big fundraising gala? How do we convey the ability to persevere through trying times? How do I keep donors engaged? Nonprofits that have been strengthening relationships with donors, communicating clearly and openly, and making the most of technology have been preparing for a crisis like this for a while. Stay the course.





How to Watch Movies Online With Friends – (TheVerge)

From Clara (Senior Advocacy Account Strategist): It has been neat to see how quickly tech can innovate and rise to this unprecedented occasion we find ourselves in (if only public services and governments had the same kind of agility). We’ve seen service providers adapt super quickly to the changing environment, adjusting their processes and policies at scale more quickly than we would have thought possible. And as social distancing sets in, we’ve seen a return to a focus on content being experienced in a digitally shared environment: note, not shareable, although that’s important, too—but shared experience in real time.

The Verge created this guide to the platforms available that allow you to watch shows and movies with your friends. It will be interesting to follow how content creators at organizations—even though they might not be creating a full feature film on Netflix—will take advantage of this new, digital, social layer as they continue their production schedules for the rest of the year. I can imagine several ways this could help to capture and amplify engagement around cause and issue content, and it’s a great opportunity for folks to get creative as they work to reach and mobilize their people online.

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!

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