Sponsored by Syneos Health Communications


Paws NY and Klick Health
The Bridge

Paws NY needed a way to stand out from other animal organizations and wanted to do so by reminding people about the powerful health benefits that come from pet adoption. And, given how COVID-19 had worsened New York’s loneliness epidemic, the organization especially wanted to highlight the mental health benefits and how pets can ease stress, anxiety and depression.

The team found inspiration in a true story about a man struggling with his mental health after being left by his wife. And it runs parallel to the plight of an abandoned dog left alone on New York’s mean streets. Dejected and rejected, their paths cross. A quiet bond grows, ultimately saving both their lives.

The Bridge proves that some stories are so powerful they don’t require words. It’s hard to say precisely what makes this film so compelling. Exquisite art direction creates a hostile world — cold, gray, cramped and unwelcoming. These are no cute cartoons but edgy, scribbled textures that portray the stress and agony of the film’s two heroes. Even the font conveys a mental-health message. Full of empty spaces, it adds to the shaky effect, creating a sense of instability and a need for resolution.

It’s hard to say what makes the film so haunting. Is it the irony of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”? The litter on the street? That the little dog is as determined as it is ugly? That the fragile man is both immense and yet invisible to others?

The judges praised the work as “tremendous storytelling.” And while they loved all the elements — the style, the music and animation — it wins because it successfully delivers the intended message, connecting human and animal health. Commented another judge: “Sometimes, man’s best friend is what we need to keep going.”


Four Paws and Ogilvy Health
Pets of War

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shook people around the world, and this campaign to help the pets left behind quickly alchemized empathy into action. Within 24 hours, the campaign garnered a 2,000% increase in donations, and a heartwarming 300 tons of pet food for Ukrainian animal shelters — all with an astonishing media budget of zero dollars.