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Sense came to us with a big challenge.

Sense is the charity for people who are deafblind or living with complex disabilities. To those using its services, it’s absolutely amazing. But in the wider world, it faced a huge problem in getting people to understand its cause.

>>> So Sense reached out to us with a challenge. Could we create a bold new campaign to overcome this ‘imagination gap’? To inspire new supporters to engage with its work in its heartland of the West Midlands before rolling it out nationally? <<<

Our starting point had to be our audience. We wanted to inspire the people of the West Midlands to support Sense, but insight showed that people often struggled to imagine what it was like for someone to live with complex disabilities. It could seem scary and hopeless – rather than a life like any other… filled with possibilities and potential.


So we set out to reframe their perceptions, and this became the fuel to fire our overarching campaign proposition:

We needed to overcome any sense of ‘othering’… to show that this was, at heart, about a basic human right. We did this by reinforcing that, ‘We all have the right. To be given, or to have every opportunity, to embrace wonderful, new experiences in life and to feel the joy of discovering who we are along the way. To learn and grow as people. To be everything we can be.’

We could then clearly define the issue at hand… 

This was societal. How, ‘people with complex disabilities can feel held back from fulfilling their full potential by societal barriers. Barriers which can seem immovable and unbreakable.’

This gave us what we needed to create a highly compelling call to action.  

We wanted to galvanise people to, ‘…come together, to break down those barriers and help every person live their life to the full. So that we can all have the opportunities we need to thrive and realise our own, huge potential. To live a life of meaning. On our own terms. In our way.’

So we had our proposition and a compelling call to action, but how could we get it to our audience? 

Working with our media partner P15, we modelled Sense’s existing supporter base in the West Midlands and looked at how we could reach more people like them.  Audience mapping told us that they were mainly suburban, community by car and travelling into the city for leisure purposes.  So, our media approach was to reach them where they were…. radio during their car journey, out of home advertising at their key point of arrival in the city, targeted door drops to their homes, all underpinned by digital to convert interest into action.

But how to bring it to life?

Meet ‘the barrier’! Deceptively simple. Iconic. And crucially, able to work as a visual device across multiple channels. Indoors. Outdoors. Big space. Small ones. Online and off. By itself… and, most dramatically, with people…

We created a campaign film as a statement of intent.

We took the message out to the people of the Midlands…

We urged them… across print, social, and radio…
to express their support.

Make the pledge. 

By signing a bold online ‘declaration’ of their support.

Get the badge.  

Receive an outward affirmation of their support to help spread  the message across the Midlands and beyond.

Break the barrier.. 

To join a movement with societal change at its heart..

And the result? 

We smashed our targets by 20% with almost 13,000 West Midlanders signing the pledge and who are now well on their journey to becoming long term supporters of Sense.

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