2014 Winners

AToMiC Grand Prix

AToMiC Collaboration: GOLD



Digital Engagement: GOLD

Tourette Syndrome - Surrender Your Say

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a difficult disorder to understand. Sufferers might experience physical tics; vocal outbursts; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; anxiety attacks. Sometimes, all at once. To raise awareness, the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada (TSFC) knew they couldn’t just describe the disorder – they needed people to feel the lack of control and anxiety that comes with TS. So the TSFC launched Surrender Your Say and challenged the public to turn over control of their twitter feeds to the TSFC for 24 hours. They would allow the TSFC to randomly tweet Tourette tics directly into their Twitter Feeds. Collaboration was crucial to the success of this project:

  • Nothing like this had ever been done before on Twitter. The agency and development team collaborated with partners at Twitter, who not only gave approval to use the medium in this way, but actually suggested ways to optimize the experience.
  • To create the actual ‘Tourette Tic’ tweets, people around the world with Tourette Syndrome told the agency what their tics were, how often they happened, etc., so that that the twitter experience was a real reflection of the disorder.
  • The agency worked with a development company to program the bots that generated the tics into the Twitter feeds.
  • To create awareness, an editing house, sound design company and post effects company created a television spot to seed the program. And in the weeks prior to launch, hundreds of people spread the word on social media to get people to sign up for the launch on June 19, 2013.

As much as the collaboration of these partners listed above were critical to the success of Surrender Your Say, they paled in comparison to the contributions of the 8905 people who donated their twitter feeds for the campaign. Imagine – these people gave up control of their feed, and had no idea what would be tweeted, how many tweets would occur, or if they would be offensive (indeed, in many cases they were). They risked losing followers. They risked public embarrassment. And while people could stop the experience at any time, very few actually did. The bravery of each of those contributions can’t be underestimated – each and every one of the participants became a partner in the fight for understanding of this disorder.

Thanks to all of them, the campaign created a global conversation about TS, generating massive awareness. Over 1500 people signed up pre-launch (1.5x goal.) In three days, 8905 participated (3x goal). SYS tweets reached 3,998,376 of the participants’ followers (4x goal), demonstrating that we attracted powerful social influencers. The campaign generated 100 million impressions through direct tweets (5x goal). It was reported on by dozens of news outlets including CNN, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Huffington Post. #surrenderyoursay trended organically for 2 days around the world. And we attracted powerful celebrity influencers, with tweets and re-tweets by Rick Mercer, Howie Mandell and Stephen Fry (collectively, these three celebrities alone have nearly 7 million followers).


Client: Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada

Creative Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Canada

Creative Directors: Helen Pak, Brian Sheppard

Art Director: Rachel Kennedy

Writer: Shauna Roe

Head of Production: Michelle Orlando

Digital Producers: Simon Conlin, Lisa Hamilton

Digital Developers: The Development Factory, Toronto

Editor: Bijoux

Visual Effects: Track & Field

Sound: Boombox Sound

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Zoe Sherwood at 416-408-2300 x237 or zsherwood@brunico.com.