What is it?
A Social Media Awareness campaign to raise awareness about Tourette Syndrome.

What was the outcome?
One of the most successful and celebrated social media campaigns in Canada. 
Over 8,000 brave Tweeters surrendered their Twitter handles in support of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada generating over 1,000,000 impressions. 

Canadian Marketing Awards = 6x Gold 
Atomic Awards = Grand Prix + 4x Gold 
Marketing Awards = 2x Gold 
Communication Arts = Winner - Social Media
Media Innovation Awards = Best of Show + 3x Gold 
(2014) Cannes Lions = 3 x Shortlist 

To find out what happened, watch the Case study video.  
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
"Can you handle experiencing Tourette Syndrome for just 24 hours? Are you willing to #SurrenderYourSay" ?
This Twitter campaign created a global conversation. With nearly 9,000 people participating over three days. Tweets reached nearly four million followers generating 100 million impressions and thousands of Twitter comments and massive media coverage. 
Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics.

Tourette Syndrome - Surrender Your Say
AToMiC Awards - Grand Prix
AToMiC Collaboration: GOLD
Digital Engagement: GOLD

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a difficult disorder to understand. Sufferers might experience physical tics; vocal outbursts; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; anxiety attacks. Sometimes, all at once. To raise awareness, the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada (TSFC) knew they couldn’t just describe the disorder – they needed people to feel the lack of control and anxiety that comes with TS. So the TSFC launched Surrender Your Say and challenged the public to turn over control of their twitter feeds to the TSFC for 24 hours. They would allow the TSFC to randomly tweet Tourette tics directly into their Twitter Feeds. Collaboration was crucial to the success of this project:
Nothing like this had ever been done before on Twitter. The agency and development team collaborated with partners at Twitter, who not only gave approval to use the medium in this way, but actually suggested ways to optimize the experience.
To create the actual ‘Tourette Tic’ tweets, people around the world with Tourette Syndrome told the agency what their tics were, how often they happened, etc., so that that the twitter experience was a real reflection of the disorder.
The agency worked with a development company to program the bots that generated the tics into the Twitter feeds.
To create awareness, an editing house, sound design company and post effects company created a television spot to seed the program. And in the weeks prior to launch, hundreds of people spread the word on social media to get people to sign up for the launch on June 19, 2013.
As much as the collaboration of these partners listed above were critical to the success of Surrender Your Say, they paled in comparison to the contributions of the 8905 people who donated their twitter feeds for the campaign. Imagine – these people gave up control of their feed, and had no idea what would be tweeted, how many tweets would occur, or if they would be offensive (indeed, in many cases they were). They risked losing followers. They risked public embarrassment. And while people could stop the experience at any time, very few actually did. The bravery of each of those contributions can’t be underestimated – each and every one of the participants became a partner in the fight for understanding of this disorder.
Thanks to all of them, the campaign created a global conversation about TS, generating massive awareness. Over 1500 people signed up pre-launch (1.5x goal.) In three days, 8905 participated (3x goal). SYS tweets reached 3,998,376 of the participants’ followers (4x goal), demonstrating that we attracted powerful social influencers. The campaign generated 100 million impressions through direct tweets (5x goal). It was reported on by dozens of news outlets including CNN, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Huffington Post. #surrenderyoursay trended organically for 2 days around the world. And we attracted powerful celebrity influencers, with tweets and re-tweets by Rick Mercer, Howie Mandell and Stephen Fry (collectively, these three celebrities alone have nearly 7 million followers).
Client: Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada
Creative Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Canada
Creative Directors: Helen Pak, Brian Sheppard
Art Director: Rachel Kennedy
Writer: Shauna Roe
Head of Production: Michelle Orlando
Digital Producers: Simon Conlin, Lisa Hamilton
Digital Developers: The Development Factory, Toronto
Editor: Bijoux
Visual Effects: Track & Field
Sound: Boombox Sound

CNN – Twitter ‘surrenders’ to Tourette Syndrome - Read more
Wall Street Journal – The Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada asks Twitter users to experience Tourette Syndrome - Read more
National Post - #SurrenderYourSay Tourette’s syndrome campaign makes novel use of Twitter to demonstrate disease’s tics - Read more
Globe and Mail - Getting a real sense of Tourette Syndrome - Read more
Huffington Post – Surrender Your Say: Twitter users raise awareness of Tourette Syndrome - Read more
CBC – Twitter users surrender accounts for Tourette awareness - Read more
Marketing – Tourette’s Foundation does Twitter takeover - Read more
BuzzFeed – Twitter users experience Tourette’s Syndrome for 24 hours - Read more
Silicon Beat – Tourette’s and Twitter - Read more

What did I do?
I was the creative technologist and senior producer on the project. I helped conceive the concept, along with Rachel Kennedy (Art Director) and Shauna Roe (Copywriter). We had the freedom to do something impactful and we wanted to give people the feeling of having Tourettes. To help society understand what this is like, we asked them to experience it for 24 hours, in a place where everyone's watching - Twitter. 

We collectively decided that Twitter would be the best platform so I quickly set about to find a way to give Twitter Tourettes, I also wrote the legal terms and conditions along with my long time collaborator in digital media law, Kerry from CreativeLegal, we ran these T&C's by Twitter who approved and even supported the campaign. I also brought in Andrew and Suzanne from DevelopmentFactory to build the app and the bots. They did a fantastic job and deserve a lot of credit. 


Tourette Syndrome has a bad rep. Because many of us don't understand what the disorder is all about, we assume that people with TS are angry or insane. The truth is that Tourette Syndrome causes people to say and do things that are completely out of their control.
We named the campaign #SurrenderYourSay. For one day, when and what participants Tweeted was out of their control - just like Tourette Syndrome. Tweets mimicked verbal tics experienced by real people with TS.
The campaign gained popularity and experienced tremendous success. Almost 4,000,000 impressions were generated in only 36 hours, #SurrenderYourSay trended worldwide, and most importantly, people everywhere were starting to understand Tourette Syndrome a little better.
AToMiC winners crowned in Toronto
The awards show recognized powerful Canadian advertising, with the Tourette Syndrome Foundation and Saatchi & Saatchi claiming the Grand Prix.

May 15, 2014
It’s no surprise the Grand Prix at last night’s AToMiC Awards went to Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada’s “Surrender Your Say.” It’s the type of powerful advertising that worked in combination with technology, media and content, which is exactly what the AToMiC Awards is all about. But it’s also a campaign, created by agency Saatchi & Saatchi, that was recognized for its AToMiC Collaboration, CSR, Idea and Digital Engagement, having won an additional four Gold pieces in each of those categories at the Toronto show.

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