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The Best Work You May Never See: FCB Canada's "Down Syndrome Answers"

By

Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016

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Learning that an unborn child has Down syndrome can be a confusing and stressful time for parents, who usually have only ten days to decide how to proceed with the pregnancy following the diagnosis. They often have many questions about what Down syndrome means to them and their child — When will they walk? When will they talk? How long will they live?

Invariably, they will turn to Google for answers and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is meeting them there with “Down Syndrome Answers,” a series of short videos that feature people with Down syndrome answering parents’ most-asked questions. After all, there’s no one better suited to answer those questions than people living with Down syndrome. 

Coinciding with the start of Canadian Down Syndrome Week (Nov. 1-7), whenever someone in Canada Googles a question about Down syndrome, the answer video will appear as a search results, providing honest and powerful answers to tough questions.

This video introduces us to Adam who answers the question, “When do babies with Down syndrome learn to talk?”

“The majority of prospective parents know very little about Down syndrome,” said Kirk Crowther, National Executive Director, Canadian Down Syndrome Society. “Doctors do their best and there are lots of websites offering the medical perspective but they typically use very clinical terms that don’t capture the emotional and human side of the Down syndrome story. We wanted to change that with ‘Down Syndrome Answers.’” 

Created with the help of creative agency FCB Canada, the campaign gives people both sides of the Down syndrome story, so they can make a fully informed decision about their pregnancy. The project aims to educate the public, increase understanding, and present a fair and balanced story of the developmental disability as told by people living with Down syndrome. 

“When parents get a diagnosis, they always have questions even after speaking with their doctor. At that point, they inevitably turn to Google looking for answers,” said Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, chief creative officer, FCB Canada. “When we met with CDSS, we realized that people with Down syndrome are most qualified to provide those answers, but without a good search strategy, there’s no guarantee people will find them.”

“Just by casting real people with Down syndrome we start to dispel some misconceptions about the developmental disability,” added Jeff Hilts, chief creative officer, FCB Canada. “But what will really make this campaign effective is ensuring people find the videos first when they turn to Google looking for answers.” 

Credits

Client Canadian Down Syndrome Society Agency FCB Canada Jon Flannery, Jeff Hilts, Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, chief creative officers; Simon Tuplin, associate creative director/art director; Pete Gardiner, associate creative director/copywriter; Judy Hamilton, producer; David Rodriguez, editor; Eryn LeMesurier, sr. strategist; Shelagh Hartford, digital strategist. Production Elias Campbell, director; Stephen McLouglin, DP. Casting Jigsaw Casting Shasta Lutz

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