Yippee Ki-Yay 2020

Authors: Ed Fletcher
  • Reading time: 6 min.
  • Posted on: December 23, 2020

What. A. Year. 2020 has been a difficult year for so many reasons and it’s one that will leave its mark on the world for generations to come. In the midst of so much hardship and tragedy, the Shape History team has persevered and endured, resulting in our most impactful year ever. On top of the new partnerships and projects going live, we’ve also grown our team (and are continuing to do so!), bringing exciting new talent and expertise from different sectors and passions into the agency. 

Our end of year video highlights so many projects that we could talk about, but that would turn out closer to a novel than a blog post. So, we decided to talk about some of the projects that our newest team members have been working on, and introduce them in the process.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most unknown, deadly killers in Africa, but a vacuum of information has left both the public and health professionals unaware of it. To mark AMR Awareness Week in November, we teamed up with WHO Regional Office for Africa to launch a continent-wide campaign – Resist The Resistance – to raise public awareness of this medical emergency.

So far, the campaign has got vital public health messages to almost 20 million people across the continent, which we believe will have a major impact on this health crisis.

The disarming, relatable art direction was led by our Creative Disruptor, Margit Mulder (previously Saatchi and Saatchi, GOOD Agency), who has joined the team to bring her creative flair for storytelling and all things branding. In just 4 weeks, we went from brief to reaching 35 million people across Africa! Pulling the entire project together, including digital strategy, social graphics, landing site, all translated into Portuguese and French, was our newest Planning Lead, Rochelle Shanthakumar. Her precision, focus and management was the driving force behind the entire project. Also, a shout out to the latest creative freelancer to join the SH Collective (our network of carefully curated freelancers), Sian Norris, who developed the catchy verbal identity, Resist the Resistance.

“This was an exciting and an increasingly urgent project to work on. Working closely with the technical experts at WHO Africa, it was a pleasure bringing together a team of talented creatives and strategists to deliver this campaign in record time!

We hope the campaign can act as a key resource and information hub for an urgent issue set to impact 4.1 million people in Africa alone before 2050.

Rochelle Shanthakumar

Hitting the ground running! This was one of the projects I got involved with when joining the wonderful Shape History team. It has been so inspiring, curious and interesting. I loved everything to do with this project. From the big idea stage to making it all singing and dancing, educating myself along the way and of course the important impact that this project will have, consequently saving peoples lives! 

Margit Mulder


The UK insurance industry, particularly the Lloyds of London marketplace, continues to lag behind the rest of the world by continuing to insure new fossil fuel projects such as the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine (the largest planned mine in the world right now). Yet their external communications continue to hide this fact, and rather greenwash the issue with shallow ESG commitments. We teamed up with climate crisis activists, The Sunrise Project’s Insure Our Future team, to illuminate this hypocrisy to the thousands of people working both in Lloyds, and the marketplace syndicates. 

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the sector and the immense pressure piled on by the campaign, Lloyds made a landmark announcement in December to quit fossil fuel insurance by 2030 and end new investments in coal, oil sands and Arctic energy by 2022. The commitments have surpassed all expectations of the climate movement, but we’re not done yet…stay tuned for 2021.

This satirical campaign, which uses art direction from Lloyds themselves, was ideated by our brilliant Creative Storyteller, Zoe Dawson (D&AD New Blood 2020 Winner) and is being managed by new Planner, Antoinette Lansana, both of whom joined the team in September. The campaign is currently bombarding the social feeds of the insurance industry with messages from our version of Lloyds of London, highlighting the hypocrisy of their comms, much of which is unknown and unreported outside of leadership. So far, digital engagement continues to beat all industry benchmarks in the capable hands of our Performance Marketing Director, Justin Thorne (previously LAB), and his team.

“When I learned we would be working on a campaign targeting the world’s biggest insurance market I was full of anticipation as to how far we could take action and influence such a large audience. Learning that, through the hard work from our talented strategists and creatives, Lloyd’s are ending new investments in coal, oil sands and Arctic energy by 2022 which is HUGE. I love that we’re not stopping there and there’s still so much we can achieve in 2021 that will create significant global change.

Antoinette Lansana


November saw the end of an eight month discovery phase of our Love Sex Life (LSL) project in partnership with Brook, Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, and NAZ London. The three year partnership was commissioned by Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham boroughs with the overarching aim to significantly improve the sexual and reproductive health of Black and Ethnic Minority communities in South London. At the core of the partnership has been a commitment to co-design, so listening to these communities has been central to this discovery phase. You can look through the findings and recommendations of research on the LSL website.

To support the launch of the project, Ayesha Gardiner (previously Forster Communications and organiser of CharitySoWhite), our new dynamic Strategy Lead, has worked closely with Leila Hashemi and Jece Shunmugam to start building a strategic targeted media profile (Metro, Black Ballad, The Voice) that is helping to get our messages out to our target audiences. The team was also joined by Art Director, Leyla Reynolds, and Designer, Courtney Lovejoy (both SH Collective) to bring the partnership to life visually in a style that is truly inclusive and representative of the communities we look to serve. 

“Love Sex Life was one of my first launches after joining Shape History, and it was a real passion project. Health inequalities within BAME communities have become increasingly evident over the past year, so to be involved in a campaign dedicated to overcoming that was a joy. It was refreshing to put aside vanity metrics and ensure the message was reaching those it needed to see it, and is how communications should be done.”

Ayesha Gardiner

So that’s a wrap! We’re signing off for 2020. See you in the new year!