Interactive Annual 20:
Surrender Your Say
A simple, yet very creative twist on using the Twitter platform to educate people about Tourette Syndrome.
Empathy is hard when you cant understand another persons experience, what it feels like to be them. This campaign finds an analogous way on Twitter to make people understand what its like to have Tourette.
Tourette Syndrome is widely misunderstood. The Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada wanted people to comprehend the frustration, randomness and isolation of the condition by actually feeling the lack of control experienced by those living with the disorder. The Foundation worked with Saatchi & Saatchi Canada to launch Surrender Your Say, a campaign in which Twitter users relinquished control of their feed and allowed Tourette tics to be tweeted randomly under their name. It was controversial. It hadnt been done before. And for a day, thousands felt what it was like to have Tourette Syndrome in front of millions of followers.
- • The content of the uncontrolled tweets was created with one specific goal: to entice people to click through to the campaign website.
- • Every tweet contained an odd, nonsensical tic inspired by real people with TS, a Surrender Your Say hashtag and a link to the website where people could surrender their own handle.
- • Thirty-six hours after launch, almost 9,000 people surrendered their Twitter handles, generating 3,998,376 impressions through their followers, re-tweets and other interactions on Twitter. Ultimately, this created over 100 million impressions.
Comments by Saatchi & Saatchi Canada:
We created a series of bots, each inspired by a real person with TS and the tics they experience on a regular basis. The bots were programmed using patterned scripts (for example, certain tics would repeat more often than others, which is common in people who actually live with TS), so in essence, every bot had a personality of its own.
It was amazing. People had strong reactions to the experiencethey were shocked, embarrassed, uncomfortableand that was exactly what we were hoping for. It changed the way people thought about the disorder. Because invading someones Twitter feed is so personal, it was an advertising campaign that people really became involved in and remembered long after it was over. Participants took the time to tweet and blog about their experiences. We were really impressed with what people took away from it.
This has been one of our favorite projects. We had the chance to improve lives by changing the way people think about Tourette Syndrome. We asked participants to step far out of their comfort zone; it was extremely intimate. A lot of ads work to entertain and delight people, and that wasnt the case with Surrender Your Say. We wanted people to learn and think and feel uncomfortable. We were able to achieve all three, and that was incredibly rewarding.
Rachel Kennedy, art director
Shauna Roe, writer
Helen Pak/Brian Sheppard, executive creative directors
Andrew Bodis/Alex Pana, The Development Factory, Toronto, developers
Boombox Sound, sound designer
Simon Conlin/Lisa Hamilton, agency producers
Lindy Zucker, The Development Factory, Toronto, producer
Suzanne Abate, The Development Factory, Toronto, executive producer
Michelle Orlando, executive agency producer
Bijou, editorial company
Track and Field, visual effects company
Saatchi & Saatchi Canada (Toronto, Canada), project design and development/ad agency
The Development Factory, Toronto, development partner
Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada, client