the watsons

the work.

bringchange2mind

stop us if you’ve heard this one. glenn close, ron howard, and the watsons walk into grand central terminal and film an historic psa that actually does end up changing lives. that’s what happened when we were asked to create a brand — and psa — to help glenn and her family fight the stigma of mental illness. yep, we pinched ourselves.

a brand for change is born.

the bringchange2mind brand and campaign were created from the ground up. beginning with the name, identity, and marketing strategy, it would evolve into the first national advertising effort in history designed to combat the stigma associated with mental illness. with 1 in 6 adults suffering from mental illness, we only wished we could have done it sooner.

how do we take an unpopular topic and make it resonate with prospective funders, those who perpetuate stigma and those who have been directly touched by mental illness? begin with an identity that looks as optimistic as it sounds. in its simplest form, the tagline is the brand’s mission: change a mind and you can change a life.

and because the website was to be a place where people could get the help and community they need, we made the logo the brand’s url. 

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the psa that brought it.

the bringchange2mind campaign kicked off with a national psa that was shot in the iconic grand central terminal (also a watsons client). directed pro bono by ron howard with music donated by john mayer, the spot featured 80 volunteers, many of whom are living with mental illness, and five people who outed themselves by wearing their illness on their t-shirts.

walking side-by-side with a loved one, the concept was designed to visually illustrate what one in six people looks like. to break down stigma by showing how common mental illness is. how we’re all touched by it in one way or another.

the spot was picked up by time warner cable, comcast cable, charter cable, lifetime network and fox networks. additionally, screen vision showed the PSA on 260 movie screens, and ncm (national cinamedia) with in-lobby plasma screens in 950 of their cineplexes. Hulu.com featured both the psa and the “making of’ video. 


the initial promotional effort included appearances on good morning america, the view, dr. nancy snyderman and nbc nightly news. glenn was also featured in o (the oprah magazine), reuters, and huffpo, for which she wrote an article about her family‘s journey.

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local ad campaign does good.

do you know that a mental illness is a disease, not unlike diabetes, or cancer? and did you know that the one in six americans who have a mental illness can suffer as much from the stigma and discrimination they face as they do their disease? that’s the thinking behind the out of home, digital, email, and print campaign that spread its message in local markets from new york to l.a.

we launched a robust, branded website that contains behind-the-scenes interviews with people featured in the psa, and education-rich content, including contact numbers for people who want more information and/or need help. we also created a branded community on facebook. 

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the results were in.

in its first months, bringchange2mind.org had 3 million+ hits, more than 285,000 visits and 700,000+ page views from more than 150 countries. there were over one thousand emails for non-emergency assistance — all of which were answered within 48 hours. 

the brand’s facebook presence was brimming with 40,000+ active fans who have contributed thousands of posts. the psa itself has received 238,000 views on youtube.

demand for shirts worn in the psa resulted in the creation of an e-commerce section of the site, which aids in funding the effort moving forward.