Campaign shows bombed out North American cities to raise awareness of Ukraine’s plight

Who: Ukraine aid agency Razom, with WPP’s Tank Worldwide and Grey Canada for strategy and creative, Rodeo FX for VFX, Kffein for the campaign microsite, GroupM for media planning and buying, and Hill + Knowlton Strategies for PR.

What: A pro bono campaign using strikingly real FX imagery to raise funds for Ukraine humanitarian and refugee efforts through Razom. The creative approach was inspired by Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent address to Canadian parliament, in which he urged Canadians to “Feel this: What we feel every day.”

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running across TV, online/social and digital out-of-home using donated media from major Canadian media companies including Astral, Bell Media, Rogers, Yahoo, CBC and Publicité Sauvage. There’s also a dedicated microsite at, and Canadians are being asked to use the social hashtag #FeelWhatWeFeelEveryDay to raise awareness of the initiative.

It’s launching in Canada with a U.S. push to follow. “The reason it’s launching in Canada first is because the idea was born out of the speech [Zelensky] gave to the Canadian parliament, but it’s a reality for all of us,” said Marty Martinez, chief creative officer at Tank Worldwide in Montreal.

Why: This is a campaign to raise funds for Ukraine, which has been devastated by two months of non-stop military action by Russia. Razom said that it is sending an average of 50 pallets of aid to Ukraine each week (400 pallets to date), but that it needs to continue to amplify Ukrainian voices and continue to provide critical medical supplies.

“It’s bringing to life the words spoken by Zelensky to the Canadian parliament, so that they don’t just become words that disappear,” said Martinez. “We are really making them come to life here at home, so people are able to feel what [Ukrainians] feel.”

How:The creative shows before and after shots of instantly recognizable landmarks in Toronto, Montreal and New York to show what they would look like after being relentlessly bombed. The 10-second video ad opens on a shot of downtown Toronto with Union Station and iconic CN Tower, which is then replaced with images of bombed out streets and the sound of artillery, gunfire and air raids sirens. Other visuals on the website use a similar approach for Montreal’s Olympic Stadium and New York’s Times Square.

“We’ve all become a little bit numb to the news out of Ukraine, with every day the same thing,” said Martinez. “We had a lot of interest in the beginning, and then it becomes the norm. When you turn your head and see it in your own city, it becomes very different. It becomes very close to us, and the emotional aspect of it regenerates the impact [the images from Ukraine] had at the beginning.”

And we quote: “As an industry we have a voice and a public platform, and therefore also an obligation to craft powerfully effective messages for good, that can have direct impact on human lives. In this case, for the people of Ukraine. May we always feel what they feel.” — Mark Mason, executive creative director, Grey Canada

Chris Powell