Down Syndrome Answers

//  11.01.16

In a series of videos, people living with Down syndrome answer the questions most asked by parents with unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome

An ongoing initiative created by FCB Canada in partnership with the Canadian Down Syndrome Society launched to coincide with Canadian Down Syndrome Week: November 1 – 7.

Learning that an unborn child has Down syndrome can be a confusing and stressful time for parents, who usually have only ten days to decide how to proceed with the pregnancy following the diagnosis. They often have many questions about what Down syndrome means to them and their child — When will they walk? When will they talk? How long will they live?

Invariably, they will turn to Google for answers and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is meeting them there with “Down Syndrome Answers,” a series of short videos that feature people with Down syndrome answering parents’ most-asked questions. After all, there’s no one better suited to answer those questions than people living with Down syndrome.

Beginning today, and coinciding with the start of Canadian Down Syndrome Week (Nov. 1-7), whenever someone in Canada Googles a question about Down syndrome, the answer video will appear as a search results, providing honest and powerful answers to tough questions.

“The majority of prospective parents know very little about Down syndrome,” said Kirk Crowther, National Executive Director, Canadian Down Syndrome Society. “Doctors do their best and there are lots of websites offering the medical perspective but they typically use very clinical terms that don’t capture the emotional and human side of the Down syndrome story. We wanted to change that with ‘Down Syndrome Answers.’”

Created with the help of creative agency FCB Canada, the campaign gives people both sides of the Down syndrome story, so they can make a fully informed decision about their pregnancy. The project aims to educate the public, increase understanding, and present a fair and balanced story of the developmental disability as told by people living with Down syndrome.

“When parents get a diagnosis, they always have questions even after speaking with their doctor. At that point, they inevitably turn to Google looking for answers,” said Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Canada. “When we met with CDSS, we realized that people with Down syndrome are most qualified to provide those answers, but without a good search strategy, there’s no guarantee people will find them.”

“Just by casting real people with Down syndrome we start to dispel some misconceptions about the developmental disability,” added Jeff Hilts, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Canada. “But what will really make this campaign effective is ensuring people find the videos first when they turn to Google looking for answers.”

In 2016, FCB Canada was the first creative agency in the country to mandate that every employee be fully certified in Google Adword fundamentals. By going through that process, their team uniquely understands the power of leveraging search in creative ways to change behaviour. Through this comprehensive certification, the FCB team used their expertise to create “Down Syndrome Answers” – a campaign specifically designed to help people find the answers they are looking for via Google Search.

FCB created the campaign pro bono for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. The videos are hosted on YouTube and on the Canadian Down Syndrome Society website,

Full credits are at the bottom of this page.


Project: Down Syndrome Answers
Client: Canadian Down Syndrome Society
National Executive Director: Kirk Crowther
Treasurer: Ed Casagrande
Board member: Ben Tarr
Communications Manager: Kaitlyn Pecson

Agency: FCB Canada
CEO: Tyler Turnbull
Chief Creative Officer: Jon Flannery
Chief Creative Officer: Jeff Hilts
Chief Creative Officer: Nancy Crimi-Lamanna
ACD, Art Director: Simon Tuplin
ACD, Copywriter: Pete Gardiner
Producer: Judy Hamilton
Editor: David Rodriguez
Group Account Director: Anabella Mandel
Account Manager: Joline Christiani
Senior Strategist: Eryn LeMesurier
Digital Strategist: Shelagh Hartford

Director: Elias Campbell
Director of Photography: Stephen McLouglin
Casting: Shasta Lutz, Jigsaw Casting