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Not every suicide note looks like a suicide note

Not every suicide note looks like a suicide note

This cross media campaign from the Canadian Looking Glass Foundation was launched last month. The foundation focus on eating disorders. As I noticed before posting about eating disorders, it is one of the most difficult issues to campaign about.
There is a distorted perception about eating disorders. What people know and understand about them is shockingly different from the truth. Eating disorders are the deadliest of all mental illnesses. This campaign, made pro bono by agency DDB Vancouver, tries to educate and expand the public’s knowledge of this disease.
“The objective of this campaign is to educate the public and lessen the stigma attached to a very real and life-threatening disease” says Cindy Dobbe, president and co-founder of the Foundation.

Each of the three 30-second PSAs contrast the behavior of a woman suffering from an eating disorder, compulsively trying to control her weight, to expectations most healthy Canadians hold. Each of the three TV spots end with: “Not every suicide note looks like a suicide note, followed by The Looking Glass logo and voiceover “help us give hope to those suffering with eating disorders.”

“To articulate the severity of eating disorders, the campaign’s strategy and tagline profess, ‘Not every suicide note looks like a suicide note.’,” says Daryl Gardiner, associate creative director, DDB Canada. “Our intention is to illustrate that seemingly innocent signs are actually clues that a loved one may unknowingly be on a path towards self-harm. The campaign’s tone reflects both the seriousness of this disease and optimism for those afflicted, and leaves viewers with a positive message of hope.”

The campaign contains three TV spots, four radio spots, a redesign of the Looking Glass website, three banner executions, regional newspaper ads, regional out-of-home wild postings and four ambient items.


Various ambient objects, based on real-life confessions by sufferers, where scattered in various locations throughout Vancouver.  Each execution also includes a call to action to visit to learn more about eating disorders.

A hairbrush tangled with an abundance of hair and a label that reads:  “Sufferers from anorexia lose much more than weight.”


A spool of thread with the grisly story:  “In an effort to end a self-destructive cycle of binging and purging Monica D. passed out attempting to sew her lips shut.”


A broken toothbrush with the message:  “Attempting to purge, Jane B. broke a toothbrush off in her throat and choked.”


City lamp posts are transformed into a circular chit carousel featuring dangling slips of paper with food orders written on them.  The slips show various food orders with all the pieces of the order “held.”  The slips are signed off with the message: “Not every suicide note looks like a suicide note.  Learn more about eating disorders at”


Looking Glass Foundation
DDB Vancouver

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