McCann rebrands Kids Help Phone for a modern world

Who: Kids Help Phone, with McCann Canada for strategy and creative, Craft Worldwide for production, and Epitaph for media.

What: “Help in All Sizes,” a new brand identity and campaign to give the non-profit a more modern look and feel that is reflective of the wide range of ways it helps kids today.

When & Where: The campaign launched Dec. 6, and is being rolled out across all KHP brand touchpoints—from website and social, to OOH, TV, and swag. A paid media campaign is still to come.

Why: Since Kids Help Phone launched in Canada in 1989, the world has become more complicated, and the challenges faced by young people more varied and complex; the previous smiley chat bubble logo no longer reflected the KHP reality.

“The driving force behind this rebrand was for it to fit in alongside other iconic brands that manage to break through into the lives of today’s youth,” said McCann’s chief creative officer, Josh Stein.

They wanted the new visual brand identity to be as “flexible, colourful and diverse,” as the young people it helps, and the challenges they face.

“Young people need to see themselves in the Kids Help Phone brand,” said Katherine Hay, KHP’s president and CEO. “Feelings aren’t just one colour, and the ages, stages and experiences of the young people we serve aren’t either.”

How: The new modular logo and design system uses more than 14 different colours. The KHP logo can expand or contract, with the space formed by the stems of the H and P forming a canvas that can hold messages about the challenges faced by kids. The logo’s varying size represents how there are no issues too big or small for KHP to provide help with.

“The range of supports that Kids Help Phone provides to today’s youth is staggering and inspiring,” said Stein. “It led us to the idea of ‘Help in All Sizes,’ and a brand system that included a lot of flexibility in colour, shape and energy so the brand could remain recognizable regardless of the topics and conversations they have to cover.”

And we quote: “The new brand identity celebrates the hope that exists in even the darkest moments and feelings we all experience. We love the range of colours and flexibility of the new design system, which reflects young people and their many different types of feelings.” —Katherine Hay, KHP president and CEO

David Brown