Cannes Lions

Silence Sucks


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Our goals for this audience were to increase the sense of urgency about PPD discussions and encourage universal screening of PPD in all women during pregnancy and after birth. For pregnant or expecting women, the campaign objectives were to educate about the prevalence of PPD, increase awareness of potential risk factors, reduce the stigma, and encourage proactive and open dialogue with their physicians and loved ones. In short, we wanted to reframe the conversation about postpartum depression to one that celebrated the empowerment of “postpartum expression.”


“Silence Sucks” features a series of women, each sucking on a pacifier, symbolizing both the silent suffering that many new mothers endure as a result of PPD and the harmful effects it can have on the mother-infant relationship. Striking images of genuine, approachable women of different ages and races create immediate emotional connections with our audiences. Women can recognize themselves or their loved ones, and physicians are urgently reminded how PPD may affect their patients. The headline was designed to quickly and simply communicate the message that “Silence Sucks” when it comes to coping with PPD. The mantra empowers women to reject societal stigma and proudly share their experiences. This powerful execution highlights the serious problem of PPD in a confrontational yet compassionate manner. “Silence Sucks” captures the raw emotion of this disease—shattering the silence surrounding the condition that affects so many of the women we know and love.


Since its launch, “Silence Sucks” has been tremendously successful at starting the conversation about PPD on social media, in news outlets, and beyond. The campaign’s provocative nature resonated strongly within the first week of its social media presence: many maternal mental health advocacy groups shared the campaign and praised its ability to get directly to the heart of PPD. The Huffington Post ran an article discussing the strong response of women to “Silence Sucks.” The campaign was also mentioned in an MM&M article about the impact of “femvertising,” defined as advertising that uses messaging and imagery to empower women. The Silence Sucks educational website saw a more than 1000% increase in traffic during the launch month. Nearly half of those visitors viewed the symptoms page, and spent 35% more time on this page alone—demonstrating the campaign’s critical role in helping the world recognize and understand PPD from the start.