Cannes Lions



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Canadians don’t realize that social issues like domestic violence, poverty, and homelessness exist in their own communities. Because of this, these issues are being ignored. To make matters worse, each area struggles with its own set of social problems. That’s where United Way comes in, working locally to provide neighbourhood-specific solutions through funding life-saving programs.

United Way needed a national awareness campaign that would get Canadians of all ages, demographics, and backgrounds to take notice of what’s happening in their own communities. Through this campaign, Canadians would also be given an understanding of what United Way is doing to help.

Our total integrated production budget was $424,000.


To highlight social issues being left in the dark, we created new Pantone® colour in partnership with the Pantone Color Institute and called it Unignorable. A high-visibility neon that boldly calls for your attention, yet draws you in with its optimism. It’s a colour that appears to be in constant motion, yet isn’t polarizing like most bright neons.

This colour was the foundation to our integrated campaign. Anything it was applied to was turned into a beacon for social issues.


Our strategy was to be as targeted as possible with our messaging by placing ads in areas that were affected directly by that specific issue - targeting those that live where that issues exists. Each region’s media buy differed across the country, down to the specific intersection.

This approach allowed us to not only spread awareness of United Way’s national mission, but also educate people across the country on what their specific area needs the most help with, and how they can get involved.


Working with a world-class illustrator, we visualized each issue with minimalist, eye-catching design, using only black, white, and Unignorable. This artwork became our print and OOH ads. Our call-to-action led people to help make the issue #unignorable in their community.

An interactive art exhibit, which was launched at Nuit Blanche Toronto, emulated the feelings of uncertainty and isolation that those that suffer from ignored issues feel. Using fog and our colour, thousands of visitors felt lost, alone, and helpless. The average wait was over 90 minutes, turning it into the most visited exhibit in Nuit Blanche history.

A series of online videos depicted the hidden side of social issues. Through targeting and forced view technology, these ads were tailored to each region’s issues and were literally unignorable.

We partnered with Adidas® to create Unignorable sneakers, using social influencers to help further spread our message on social media.


Following the long-standing tradition of art for social change, we used the power of colour and a simple message to get people to rally around the complicated issues happening in their very own communities.

Most importantly, with over 150 million impressions, our campaign helped raise over $110 million in donations - a record-breaking amount for any United Way in the world - that will go towards funding life-saving programs for those in need.

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