In an effort to help make MS more relevant to busy people in a busy world, over the past year, the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy New York, whose corporate clients include Nike, Coca Cola and Starbucks, has worked pro bono with the MS Society to develop a campaign to totally transform the way MS and the National MS Society is viewed right down to the very color that has been associated with the disease for the past 60 years. The ground-breaking initiative introduces a new way of talking about MS that focuses on the universal elements of what it means to live with this chronic and unpredictable disease. The agency donated over $1 million in time and creative talent.
This outpouring of creative talent has given the Society a new tag line ("MS stops people from moving. We exist to make sure it doesn't."), and a new color: orange. That's right, orange. See, all your really cool diseases have their own colors (pink for breast cancer, red for AIDS, yellow for testicular cancer, for some odd reason), and we really want a piece of that action. So start thinking about what in your wardrobe will look really smashing with a little orange ribbon.
Well, whatever. I guess I'm resigned to the idea that effective PR is an important component of the fight against MS, mainly because this country has not made access to healthcare or funding for research a priority. On the other hand, I'm not inclined to politely applaud Wieden+Kennedy's creativity for the new color and Society logo (which consists of the capital letters "MS" in orange with a black slash through them) just because they use a plus sign instead of an ampersand. Really, how long did they sit around thinking about the new logo before they came up with that one?