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2023 One Show - Cultural Driver

The Mindsets Paper

Agency FCB / Toronto

Client Canadian Down Syndrome Society


Multicultural Impact

Annual ID


About the Work

This is a story of how a small Canadian charity, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS), helped create meaningful change in the medical community by proving the effects of increased physical activity on increased cognition within the Down syndrome community. The current Down syndrome generation is going to be the first to outlive their parents. As recently as 1983, the average lifespan of a person with Down syndrome was 25 years, today the average is 60 years or longer. For most, this means outliving their primary support system. However, they are on the cusp of living independently. If regular exercise leads to improved cognition, this would allow many members of the community to live on their own, with little to no supervision. Improved cognition would better equip them to develop the necessary routines and structures they need to live independently; routines and structures that we all take for granted. Many doctors advise their patients with Down syndrome NOT to exercise. Their list of reasons is long: decreased muscle tone, hyper flexibility in their joints, heart defects that must be corrected at birth. But they are based on outdated evidence and underestimating what they can accomplish. Anecdotally, we know that fitness holds the power to improve cognition for people with Down syndrome, but it’s never been scientifically proven. So, we set out to close the research gap. CDSS partnered with their ad agency and together they gathered the required experts, created a world’s first app, and recruited 200 people with Down syndrome to collect the required scientific data to prove the importance of fitness and legitimize it as a prescribed therapy. Athletes with Down syndrome have shown that fitness has the power to not only strengthen the body, but also the mind. Down syndrome athletes, like Ironman Chris Nikic, have observed strengthened memory, enhanced learning, boosted social skills, and increased confidence – all of which allow for a more independent lifestyle. Even a slight increase in cognition can lead to an incredible shift in quality of life. CDSS’s objective was to prove the importance of fitness for people within the Down syndrome community, so it can become widely encouraged by doctors, parents, and society at large. The Mindsets Paper Results: Prove the importance of fitness through research and data: 200 eligible participants recruited from 4 different continents, successfully achieving our research goal of becoming the first ever, statistically-significant study on exercise and cognition within the Down syndrome community. Initial data has showed life-changing improvements across the following metrics: 89% improvement in cognitive tests, a statistically significant improvement 63% reported improvements in Verbal Communication 50% reported improvements in Numeracy Skills 75% reported improvements in Self Confidence 63% reported improvements in Reading Ability 64% reported improvements in Day-to-day Life The completed research study has begun to be shared at world-renowned conferences and will be published in accredited medical journals in early 2023 to ensure physical activity becomes a prescribed therapy for people with Down syndrome.

2023 Awards

Total Points: 3




FCB / Toronto

Art Director

Jerry Yang


Jon Dawe


Mark Domitric


Jon Garofalo

Executive Creative Director

Andrew MacPhee
Jeremiah McNama

Music Supervisor

Rich Hamilton

Account Supervisor

Ilaria Ragno

Associate Creative Director

Marty Hoefkes
Michael Morelli


Brian Bernard

Project Manager

Cori Pettit

App Design

Joni Allert
Thomas Colliers

Audio Producer

Kelly McCluskey

Board Member

Ben Tarr

Camera Operator/Photographer

Chet Tilokani


Dr. Henry Mahncke


Ed Casagrande

Chief strategy Officer

Shelley Brown


Jeff Zimman

Director of Strategy

Eryn LeMesurier

Director/DOP/Camera Operator

Scott Drucker

Group Account Director

Blake Connolly

Interim Executive Director

Laura LaChance

Marketing & Communications Manager

Kristen Halpen


Shannon Stephaniuk

Production Artist

Dominic Pimpare
Douglas Hayter


Jayne Heaton

Research Assistant

Vivan Merzbach

Research Chair, Associate Professor

Dan Gordan


Mouna Attarha


Adriana Laborde

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