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2022 One Show - Creative Effectiveness

Signal For Help

Agency Juniper Park \ TBWA / Toronto

Client Canadian Women's Foundation


Multi-Country or Global / Non-Profit / Charity

Annual ID


About the Work

When disaster strikes, domestic violence increases. This is a documented fact. The COVID-19 pandemic is a disaster on a global scale, and the Canadian Women’s Foundation was bracing for a surge in violence over the weeks and months that the virus made its way through Canada. The social isolation measures necessitated by it increased the danger and risk for those in abusive relationships as their communications are more closely controlled and monitored. This meant that women, girls, trans and non-binary people were at higher risk of experiencing violence in their own homes. They needed a covert and silent way to reach out for help, without leaving a digital trace. To help combat this, we developed the Signal For Help, an untraceable and discreet one-handed gesture that could be used to alert someone over a video call if you felt threatened. The signal involves holding your hand up to the camera with your thumb tucked into your palm, folding your fingers down and trapping your thumb in your fingers. It means “reach out to me safely”. It was intentionally designed as a one-handed sign that a person at risk can make while holding a mobile phone with their other hand. Research was done prior to its release to make sure that it was not in conflict with any other hand signals and didn’t mean anything specific in international sign languages. We originally launched the campaign on April 14th 2020 via instructional social media posts, then later developed a PSA and accompanying toolkit to share the signal more widely. At the time, our aim was to generate awareness and provide a tool for people in domestic violence situations during the pandemic. What happened next was beyond any of our imaginations.

2022 Awards

Total Points: 45



Juniper Park \ TBWA / Toronto

Chief Creative Officer

Graham Lang


Rubene De Sousa


Rod Reano

Executive Creative Director

Jenny Glover


Sam Bullis

Social Media Manager

Megan O'Malley

Agency Producer

Nancy Rak-Swales
Nina Buis


Kevin Ko
Steve Van Gelder

Public Relations

Joshua Burleton
Savanah Ebeling


Alison Parke


David Toto

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