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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Hanx For Our Troops

Entered in Launch Campaign, Social Good Campaign


In collaboration with CAA’s Global Client Strategy Division, we worked with Tom Hanks to bring Hanx for our Troops to life. Hanx For Our Troops honors the patriotism and service of our Veterans by giving 100% net profits to organizations that provide them with critical resources and support. For the launch, we partnered with The Bob Woodruff Foundation, Headstrong, Hire Heroes, and Student Veterans of America. 

Our primary goal was to create coffee goods that do some good and build a brand that showed up consistently across all channels. 

Our focus on social impact drove the messaging and launch strategy. We knew we had an opportunity to leverage Tom’s celebrity to give a platform to other brands who have a similar mission, and even more important to elevate the voices of the people who we created the brand for, our Veterans. Beyond our generous giveback model, we focused on two primary content avenues to further establish Hanx as a mission-driven leader in the category. Through our social channels and a “Band of Brands” subpage on the website, we continue to regularly highlight other brands that are actively supporting Veterans. We also continue to share authentic “Stories from the Field,” in the words of our Veterans.

Strategy and Execution

Brains on Fire owned all branding, packaging, web design, and creative direction for the launch of Hanx For Our Troops. Inspired by WWII K-ration design, and paired with a fresh approach to color, we wanted to combine a unique blend of nostalgic military with modern packaging that pops on the shelf and has cross-generational appeal.

Our exploration of a brand in Tom’s likeness brought us to a secondary mark employing a timeless silhouette of his profile. We engaged the world-renowned Charles S. Anderson Design to assist in designing the silhouetted secondary mark.

The main intention behind Hanx was to honor our Veterans and amplify their stories effectively. As a first order of business, we held a roundtable discussion with a diverse cross-section of the Veteran community. Veteran inputs, anecdotes, and stories also helped to inform our brand voice. 

When developing voice and tone, we used Tom’s voice as a guidepost. It’s clear, loyal, trustworthy, and friendly. Each blend’s description was created in collaboration with Tom, who has a vested interest in the authenticity of the Hanx brand and product. 

It was important to Tom for us to create content that would connect with our customers. We produced a photo shoot for assets that would live across all placements. The imagery depicted a series of cozy home settings that nodded to the nostalgic Americana that was regularly mentioned in the discussion. Hanx packaging was placed in the different scenes to tell visual stories of classic American mornings. 

After developing foundational brand language and imagery, Hanx For Our Troops came to life across organic social, web, influencer, and email. 

On social media and the web, we honored our three major content avenues of product education, Veteran stories, and Partnerships. We conducted written interviews with more Veterans and featured their stories in weekly posts.  Additionally, we worked with a diverse group of influencers/creators in the Veteran community, who represented different demographics, geographics, military branches, and ranks. We developed custom launch boxes to introduce Hanx For Our Troops to these key players and to press outlets. 

Our work is unique because it essentially comes from and for the people it serves, and that’s “damn good.” 


We set out to create a brand that reflects Tom’s deep appreciation for Veterans. We set out to lean on his legacy as a storyteller. We sought to lift Veteran stories, support organizations doing good in that community, and highlight Veteran owned, operated, or profit-sharing brands. 

Since our launch on Giving Tuesday, we have achieved our main goal of highlighting dozens of Veterans' Stories on our channels.  We’ve stayed true to our mission of supporting our partner organizations (and thus Veterans and their families)  by donating all profits from thousands of orders. Additionally, we’ve provided a platform for brands with similar Veteran-focused missions to be featured for their outstanding work in the community. We look forward to further leveraging our growing audiences across social channels, including our 10.2K newsletter subscriber list, to continue our commitment to the Veteran community.


Video for Hanx For Our Troops

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Brains on Fire, Hanx For Our Troops


Entry Credits