The Warmest Gesture

Agency Network: 
December 2020
Doof Vlaanderen: The Warmest Gesture
Doof Vlaanderen Integrated Ad - The Warmest Gesture


For over 500,000 deaf and hard of hearing people in Flanders, lip reading and seeing facial expressions are crucial for communicating. What was already not easy became nearly impossible during the Covid-19 pandemic: mouth masks were literally in the way.

With the "Warmest Gesture" Doof Vlaanderen, the Flemish foundation for the deaf, decided to do something about it and encouraged all of Flanders to roll up their sleeves and learn some basic words in sign language. Together we made easy videos where signers showed us how to sign different compliments.

We launched the campaign via radio to hearing people to raise awareness and with a call to action to our platform. The radio spot taught already a first simple sign language compliment; "You are the best!" Display ads did the same thing on the internet.

Popular tv, radio shows and influencers spread the message. Even our prime minister participated and complimented the public for their courage during this pandemic. With a reach of over 6 million people, the campaign proved to be a huge success. People started signing and sending compliments to their family, friends, colleagues, employees and even to their clients. Mainstream media gave the campaign so much coverage that the earned media was ten times higher than the paid media. But most importantly, hearing people got in involved with sign language for the first time. And the compliments found their way to the people who needed them the most.

Integrated advertisement created by BBDO, Belgium for Doof Vlaanderen, within the category: Public Interest, NGO.

Advertising Agency: darwin BBDO, Brussels, Belgium
Film Production Company: Red Dust
Post Production Company: Studio Plankton
Sound Production Company: Studio Helsinki
Strategic Director: Barbara De Laet
Creative Director: Klaartje Galle
Account Manager: Juliette Dugardyn
Creative: Margot Van Hove, James Gambrill, Jan Schraeyen, Nina Welsch, Femke Merens, Mathijs Bettens
Digital: Jan Seurinck, Lucas Gijs, Laurent Lenders
Director: Wilson Versteken
Producer: Sander Claessens, Thomas Landeloos
Dop: Willem Jones
Sounddesign: Tom Brillouet
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