2016 Winners


The Foundation Fighting Blindness - Experience Blindness

With more than 170,000 non-profits and charities in Canada, increasing share of mind is difficult, to say the least; increasing share of wallet is even harder. This context is particularly challenging for the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), which exists in the shadow of more popular charities. Not surprising, then, that research revealed the FFB was, well, invisible. Thus, the campaign objective was to create awareness to in turn increase donations.

In short, the FFB needed to emerge from the shadows and become visible. And do so without spending a single dollar.

Recognizing the FFB's efforts would live in a content-saturated world, we unpacked the relationship between people and content and found a powerful insight: people have set expectations for the delivery of and interaction with their content. This led to a unique communication strategy: disrupt people's expected content experience by creating the feeling of blindness. That unsettling feeling would elicit compassion, which is the primary donation driver.

The concept required unprecedented collaboration, creativity and trust with and between the sales, marketing, promotion, PR, editorial, creative, production and legal divisions of selected media partners, as well as with another client of ours. Our ask for them was formidable: break their very own rules to make their content experiences – their mainstay – unpleasant by blackening or obscuring them; in short, to create the discomforting feeling of blindness. Additionally, each partner would need to develop and produce its own FFB creative working from an SMG brief.

The national effort leveraged the content choices of Boomers:

  1. Launched live during Global TV's The Morning Show: viewers unexpectedly experienced a darkened and blurred version of known content followed by the host's V/O, "There's nothing wrong with your TV. That's what it's like to live with something called Retinitis Pigmentosa." This transitioned to a live interview with a blind FFB spokesperson.
  2. Print, online and digital OOH editorial was blackened over, with bespoke copy resulting in ads on content.
  3. A Kellogg's Mini-Wheats TV spot was altered mid-ad, morphing to blackness to unexpectedly become an FFB ad. It was an ad on an ad.

Following the above dissonant experiences was a four-week TV campaign (Shaw-created spot) amplifying a message of hope.

This uniquely collaborative effort made the FFB visible and changed behaviour:


  • unaided grew 129% while aided grew six times.
  • weekly Twitter mentions grew 2.8 times while average monthly impressions grew 16% vs. same period year over year.
  • FFB e-newsletter CTR increased 53% vs. the average of the five months prior.
  • Facebook 'Likes' were up 310% vs. same period YA.
  • Upon seeing the campaign, NASCAR team LaForce Racing made a significant donation and added FFB logos to its cars for its racing season.
  • Most importantly, the average number of daily donations grew by 78% vs. the same period year over year


Client: Foundation Fighting Blindness

President and CEO: Sharon Colle

Executive Officer, Board of Directors: Catherine Tillmann

Creative Agency: Starcom Mediavest Group

SVP Innovation and Insight: Steve Meraska

Strategy Director: Jill McDonald

Strategy Assistant: Elise Baruch


Sr. Director, Marketing: Natasha Millar

Shaw Media

Head of Marketing Ventures: Barb McKergow

Director, Production/D71: Trevor Williams

Senior Producer: Cory Ward

Account Executive Marketing Ventures: Melinda Medley

Quebecor Media

Manager Strategy and Ideation: Stevie Gorrie

Art Director: Peter Robertson

Mode Media

Creative Lead for Custom Projects: Rachel Taylor

VP Sales Canada: Alyea Henderson


Marketing Manager: Mike Dougherty

Associate Developer: Conrad Forbes

Newad Media

Digital & Web Designer: Thomas Gentil

VP, Sales & Marketing: Chris Corvetti

Vision Critical

Director, Strategy + Development: Joe Piteo FFB Atomic Case The Foundation

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