Conexus Credit Union is focused on helping their members achieve good financial wellness. As part of that, they wanted to shift the conversation around debt because they recognized the shame and silence that often prevents people from taking action or getting help with their debt. They wanted their members and the general public to feel more comfortable tackling their debt - and the first step is to be able to talk about it.
We used a strong and humorous approach to take people off guard. We went with the main headline "D*bt happens" - both censoring the word debt and playing off the phrase "shit happens." This idea of censorship played through all elements of the campaign, and included bleeping out the word "debt" in audio ads. And of course "shit happens" helped people to think of their debt more as a misstep and less of a personal failure. It said that debt is a normal problem, not a secret shame.
This approach was loved by both the client and their members. It made people laugh or do a double-take and helped to encourage people to open up about issues with debt so that they could finally get some help.