WINNIPEG, MB–What do Trevor Noah, RuPaul and Winnipeg marketing agency UpHouse have in common?

Probably not as much as UpHouse wishes – but they are all finalists in the first annual Anthem Awards, which celebrates purpose and mission-driven work by organizations and brands around the world. Two Manitoba campaigns from the local agency are finalists, putting UpHouse toe-to-toe with top agencies and brands around the world.

Finding ways to amplify underrepresented communities is one of UpHouse’s missions. Since starting in 2017, they’ve provided over $400,000 in pro bono and in-kind work and have been ranked in the top 50 creative agencies in Canada by Strategy Magazine.

“We are a part of building a more inclusive city with the help of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba (CPMB) and Sexuality Education Resource Centre MB (SERC), says Alex Varricchio, co-owner of UpHouse. “To have people around the world recognize that this advocacy work is important makes us so proud. We’re happy to share this spotlight on Winnipeg work.”

Noticing a consciousness-raising among brands and agencies to create work with social impact, the founders of The Webby Awards debuted the Anthem Awards this year, giving a platform to the best work that amplifies voices and sparks global change.

With nearly 2,500 entries from 36 countries worldwide, the submissions were reviewed by judges ranging from actors Daniel Dae Kim and Ashley Judd, to the Director of Philanthropy for The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation.

Some of the other work recognized includes: the NFL spot Lift Every Voice with Alicia Keys, where Black history was recounted and narrated by Anthony Mackie; The 1619 Project by The New York Times aiming to re-centre Black history and the consequences of slavery in the national narrative; and the Kamala Harris Glass Ceiling Breaker art installation of the Vice President’s portrait made entirely of broken glass.

Nominated in the Human & Civil Rights – Special Projects category, UpHouse’s work with CPMB sought to bring awareness to some of the folks worst affected by the pandemic: people with disabilities. Unfortunately, community isolation was not a new and novel concept to them, and so the video, “Sharing Hope in Self-Isolation,” framed them as experts in social distancing, while spreading advice and hope in the midst of the pandemic.

Nominated in the Health – Non-Profit Campaign category, SERC’s “Sex Ed for Everyone” took a humorous approach to demonstrating how poorly some of us navigate everyday questions about sex. Asking participants to answer real questions from teen workshops SERC has hosted, the video shows the importance of lifelong sexual education and access to educated advisors to help you navigate questions about sex and sexuality from a culturally-safe lens: both services offered by the folks at SERC.

About the Anthem Awards
The Anthem Awards, the Webby Awards’ newest initiative, was developed to recognize the breadth of social good work (online and offline) around the globe by honouring the organizations, brands, and people creating long-lasting impact; including, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; Education, Art, & Culture; Health; Human & Civil Rights; Humanitarian Action & Services; Responsible Technology; and Sustainability, Environment, & Climate. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, the Anthem Awards are defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their communities. Founded in partnership with the Ad Council, Born This Way Foundation, Feeding America, Glaad, Mozilla, NAACP, NRDC, WWF and XQ.

About the Webby Awards
Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honour” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honouring excellence on the Internet, including Websites; Video; Advertising, Media & PR; Apps, Mobile, and Voice; Social; Podcasts; and Games. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards received more than 13,500 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include Verizon, WP Engine, YouGov, Brandlive, Canva, NAACP, KPMG, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, MediaPost, Podcast Movement, and AIGA.

About UpHouse
UpHouse is a marketing agency that elevates in-house teams and the brands they promote. We work collaboratively with clients to make their marketing stronger, their ideas bigger and their jobs easier. As a diverse supplier certified with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, our agency aims to bring diversity of thought and better representation to marketing. People consume marketing whether they desire to or not, so we hold ourselves accountable to sharing stories that are worthwhile; promoting messages that deserve to be heard; and ensuring the highest standards of representation, accessibility and authenticity in our work.

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