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Special Project

Special Project


Entered in Awareness Campaign, Disability Awareness, Nonprofit, Storytelling, Video Series


For the past twenty years, Autism Speaks has been more than just a voice—it has been a reliable ally to those on the autism spectrum. Recently, the organization faced a big challenge. Misconceptions about their work started clouding its mission. A wave of misinformation online about the autism community and Autism Speaks meant that thousands of people with autism and their caregivers were getting the wrong information daily, affecting access to resources, care and vital information. 

This past World Autism Month, Autism Speaks launched 'Fearless.' It wasn’t just another advertising campaign; it became the heartbeat of a new movement. We focused on the real heroes: individuals who live boldly and advocate fearlessly. Through documentaries, social content, an influencer program, a new podcast, and a presence in Times Square, we broke down stigmas, showed what life on the autism spectrum truly looked like, and sparked vital conversations to help achieve the following objectives:


The strategy behind "Fearless" was to reinvigorate Autism Speaks' image and mission amidst a challenging tide of misinformation. We aimed to accomplish this by positioning Autism Speaks not just as a resource but as a catalyst for change, influencing both public perception and personal experiences related to autism. Our approach was multi-pronged, designed to engage diverse audiences across various platforms with authentic, impactful storytelling that highlighted the real experiences of those affected by autism.

Our executional plan was:

  1. Documentary Series and Influencer Engagement:

    • We produced a series of documentaries featuring real stories from individuals on the autism spectrum, showcasing their daily lives, challenges, and triumphs. These stories were not only shared on traditional media but were amplified by social influencers within and outside the autism community, enhancing reach and engagement.
  2. Always On Social:

    • Leveraging platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, we launched interactive campaigns including challenges and live sessions that encouraged users to share their own stories and experiences related to autism. This approach helped humanize autism, making the abstract personal and relatable.
    • A significant part of our social strategy was to educate. Through always-on social content, both written and video, we helped to provide the autism community accurate, helpful information daily. This included step-by-step guides on advocacy, rights, and how to access critical services.
    • We also launched an ambassador program. We needed ambassadors from the community to help amplify our voice, so we launched the Champions of Change program, led by six fearless self-advocates and changemakers in the autism community to help steer the future of the organization. They became our watchdogs online, helping to push back on the detractors and spreading a hopeful message for all. 
  3. Podcast Launch:

    • "Just Another Autism Podcast" was introduced to replace the existing "Adulting on the Spectrum" series, featuring a wider array of voices from the community including caregivers, professionals, and individuals with autism themselves. The podcast served as a weekly touchpoint for deep dives into topics that matter to the community.
  4. Times Square Presence:

    • A dynamic digital billboard in Times Square featured key messages from the "Fearless" campaign, capturing the attention of a broad audience. This high-impact visibility was pivotal during World Autism Month, tying back to our online discussions about topics like profund autism and employment.

Metrics and Feedback Loops:

This strategic approach ensured that "Fearless" was more than a campaign—it became a beacon of hope and a source of valuable information. It redefined community support and advocacy, setting a new standard for how organizations can engage with and support their communities.


The results of Fearless showed that when you tell powerful stories in a way that isn't forced or inauthentic, people listen. People flocked to our channels:


Video for Fearless

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Autism Speaks


Entry Credits