• Tuesday, May. 28, 2024
HELO sets a CSR-focused direction to help brands create impact-driven work for global communities
  • LOS ANGELES
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Recently earning The One Show and ADC Production Company of the Year distinction, HELO has announced a new strategic ambition to focus on developing brand-work that actively addresses social, economic and environmental issues--helping brands create activations and initiatives that have a meaningful impact on the planet. The new “Make Impact Work” manifesto is a progression of the company’s notable corporate social responsibility (CSR)-forward work over the last two years, which included developing an industry-altering technology enabling a blind man to commentate on a live NBA game, launching 1,000 drones above the United Nations to raise awareness around the severity of the climate crisis, and developing a series of life-changing rooftop billboards that cooled residential buildings in Miami.  

HELO was founded in 2013 by Brendan Kiernan and Justin Moore-Lewy as a specialist creative studio and agency hybrid creating “moving experiences” for major brands, blending the founders’ combined rich history of advertising and experiential theater experience. They have since delivered multi-platform campaigns for the likes of Nissan, Michelob, Coors Light and Santander, which were awarded over 80 times in 2023 alone.

The impetus behind company’s move to invest in work that focuses on raising awareness, solving problems and creating vital conversations around economical, social and ecological issues is two-fold: The world has reached a crisis point, with a growing list of existential threats that have left people feeling powerless to imagine a better future, let alone take action to change it. HELO’s founders believe that creativity can and must be used as a force to inspire change through altering perspective, generating empathy and having a direct impact on communities that need it most. 

Secondly, the advertising industry has become rife with baseless virtue-signaling, which has led to the exploitation of creative talent, marginalized communities, and the planet, for the underlying objective of winning awards. And while such awards themselves can help bring tangential attention to these important issues, HELO is imploring brands and agencies to consider the true lasting impact they could leave if their creative and financial resources were correctly channeled towards developing initiatives that had a longer shelf-life than the annual awards circuit. 

Kiernan said, “Our next step, as a company and as an industry, is the most important one. In recent years, we’ve found a growing desire amongst ourselves and clients alike to undertake projects that are not only ambitious but also distinctly ‘meaningful.’ However, we’ve been dismayed to discover that in many instances, the real ambition behind these projects has been to leverage our skills to win ad industry awards. Beyond some brands’ and agencies’ quest for commendation ribbons and trophies, there is no actual interest in creating a lasting positive impact, now or in the future.

“Through candid conversations with entities that are immersed in profound and genuine self-reflection, rethinking their global footprint and societal contribution, we’ve realized that our role as a creative studio reaches further than merely helping them refine their messaging. It is our job to act as catalysts for their self-realization and encourage them to chase bolder visions.

“Our hope,” continued Kiernan, “is set on a new generation that is rising to positions of power within corporations worldwide. They arrive with a different viewpoint, have real convictions relating to the protection of our planet and the precious life upon it, and have been born into a world that requires more empathic and visionary leadership at all levels of all industries. Their mission is not simply for the good of all--it is also strategic. For enterprises to excel in the future, they must change, and we want to be an active part in that change.” 


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