2018 Winners

Branch Out Neurological Foundation

Stranger's Voice


BronzeAToMiC Engagement

BronzeTech Breakthrough

With population growth drastically rising, so are the number of older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Donations for research are desperately needed now more than ever, but a growing younger demographic has trouble truly understanding the disease. One of the devastating symptoms of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, with the resulting confusion turning loved ones into strangers.

The Branch Out Neurological Foundation wanted a way to raise awareness and donations by having people experience the ill-effects of Alzheimer’s, first-hand.

Rethink started by creating custom phone cards and distributed them to people on Family Day, an important holiday in Canada where people spend time with family and close friends. These cards gave people the ability to call loved ones anywhere in the world for free. What they didn’t realize was that the call routed through a hacked VoIP server which modulated their voice to make the caller sound unrecognizable. After the call ended, they received pre-programmed text messages explaining why the listener couldn’t recognize them. They were also encouraged to visit the Branch Out Neurological Foundation website to learn more about Alzheimer’s research and to donate.

With permission, the team used some of the conversations in 60 second PSA radio spots. Then they took the voice modulation technology to podcasts, which have a massive listenership within younger demographics. Like the phone voices, each host’s voice was modulated to sound unrecognizable. Confused listeners everywhere reacted online to the strange voice claiming to be the one they knew. At the end, the host unmodulated their voice to explain the stunt, the Branch Out Neurological Foundation and the importance of Alzheimer’s research.

Over the course of the campaign, website traffic skyrocketed over 1,100%. First-time donors rose 56%, while donations shot up by 432%, making the untraditional campaign one of the most successful in the foundation’s history.

Title: Stranger’s Voice
Advertiser: Branch Out Neurological Foundation
Agency: Rethink
Title: Stranger’s Voice
CDs: Aaron Starkman, Dre Labre, Ian Grais, Chris Staples
ADs: Joel Holtby, Jake Bundock
Writer: Andrew Chhour
Broadcast Producer: Heather Blom
Digital Producer: Todd Harrison
Developer: Ken Malley
Print Producer: Narine Artinian
Production Company: Vapor RMW
Production House Producer: Kat Stewart
Production House Creative Director: Dustin Anstey
Sound Engineer: Ryan Chalmers
Account Services: Scott Lyons

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