Are you still using the word “crazy?”

Welcome to the June edition of MarketWell, a monthly newsletter for marketers in the wellbeing space, by Felicity.

Prior to the pandemic, our team at Felicity selected the Canadian Mental Health Association to receive a donation from us for each new subscriber to MarketWell. Now, as wearing masks and social distancing becomes our next normal, mental wellbeing is an issue that is both more urgent and more important than ever.

Within our team, we’ve been looking at how to support ourselves, our loved ones and one another through stressful times. We’ve also been exploring how marketers can be more supportive. Read on for things to consider to communicate with mental health in mind, the latest news from the wellbeing space, and words of wisdom from a corporate marketer turned start-up leader.


In this edition, we’ll look at:

  1. Wellbeing from around the web: How major life events affect wellbeing, why technology won’t save us in the post-COVID world and how to show your audience that Black Lives Matter to you.
  2. Wellbeing movement: Still using the word “crazy?” That’s just ridiculous, silly or offensive. Find out why.
  3. Felicity wellbeing marketing monitor: How to support your audience through pandemic anxiety.
  4. MarketWell voices: Interview with Nicole Bleiwas, president of new functional beverage brand Herbert, which aims to harness the power of plants to help us grow in our everyday lives.
  5. Highlighting Felicity’s do-gooders: Rob Manne’s work with ShopHERE helps struggling brick and mortar businesses.



Wellbeing from around the web

As we re-enter the workplace, technology alone isn’t going to save us
Wellbeing is about so much more than our physical safety. This piece by Arianna Huffington outlines why compassion and mental health—along with our conscious use of technology—are going to be so important in our post-lockdown world. We may begin to recognize that “downtime is a feature, not a bug.” It will likely mean better work-life integration going forward. And that may just be the silver lining of this pandemic.

Researchers study the effect of major life events on wellbeing
Marriage and retirement give people more satisfaction than any other major life event. This fascinating and large-scale study outlines the impact of 18 life events on affective wellbeing or happiness, and cognitive wellbeing or satisfaction. When you understand how these major life events affect your audiences’ wellbeing, you can market to them on a deeper level.

Five steps brands can take to genuinely show that Black Lives Matter
#BlackoutTuesday has come and gone, and for many brands, so too has their action ensuring Black Lives Matter. How can brand leaders continue the work of becoming a true ally, showing audiences that you care and actively working to become anti-racist?


Wellbeing movement: #replacecrazywith

It’s a movement that’s been slowly growing for years and is finally starting to take hold—just as many people have recognized and replaced racist, sexist and ableist vocabulary, they are also considering language that stigmatizes mental health. In 2016, #replacecrazywith first appeared in a tweet by journalist, activist and podcast host Katie Klabusich. She collected words from her followers to replace the term “crazy” and listed them in this article.

The word “crazy,” as innocuous as it may seem, can be hurtful both to individuals with mental health disorders and to how society views mental health in general. As social worker Uppala Chandrasekera wrote in an article in HuffPost in late 2017, “Cartoons, movies, music and media all subtly reinforce the same message: people with mental health issues are to be feared.” And the words used to describe them—crazy, insane, psycho—only reinforce the stereotype.

“Crazy” also has an ugly history of stigmatizing women. For instance, starting in the early 19th century, women who exhibited what was considered unusual behaviour were diagnosed with hysteria. “Hysteria was thought to be inherently female; in fact, the word “hysterical” comes from the Latin hystericus, meaning ‘of the womb,’” wrote Amanda Martell in a piece in The/Thirty. And the removal of the womb is still called a hysterectomy.

So what should you use instead of crazy, insane, etc. when communicating with your audience, be it one person or the masses? The rule of thumb is to simply be more specific. Instead of saying that a thunderstorm was crazy, consider saying that it was “intense,” “powerful” or simply “loud.” Don’t call a person crazy, explain the behaviour that bothers you and why. This will not only remove a problematic word from your vocabulary, it will make you a better writer.


Image: @visuals on


Felicity wellbeing marketing monitor: How the wellbeing of Canadians has changed since the pandemic

We learned, through the research for our white paper, that prior to the pandemic, one third of all Canadians were actively trying to improve their wellness through lifestyle change and trying new products. At the outset of the COVID-19 lockdown, there was a flurry of well-meaning wellbeing activity both in Canada and the U.S. —eating better and exercising a lot more. But we have also seen that sales of snack foods are increasing, as people seek comfort during a difficult time.

Global Market Research firm Ipsos recently released data showing that despite many good intentions during the pandemic, a third of Canadians are now reporting anxiety, not exercising enough and overeating as a result of measures in place to prevent COVID-19. And these results are more common in women, than in men.

What can wellbeing marketers do to encourage consumers to try to improve their health and wellness, particularly their mental health, during a stressful time? In this piece in SmartBrief, Hillary Haley, Ph.D. says to connect with your audiences by “giving, sharing, providing and caring.” She also suggests that “‘helping people help’ actually enables them to better cope with stress.” So, help your audience by sharing worthy causes, by giving to worthy causes with each purchase and by thanking them for their help!


MarketWell voices: Nicole Bleiwas, president of Herbert

We chatted with Nicole Bleiwas, president of Herbert, a Felicity client and functional phytotonic beverage brand that “aims to harness the power of plants to help us grow in our everyday lives.” Herbert was started by some of the founders of Greenhouse Juice Co.

Nicole built her career within major CPG companies, including Kraft Heinz, Canada Bread and Coca-Cola. So what was it like to go from these behemoth organizations to a company that’s just beginning to bud? We asked her to share with us what she learned on her journey to leading Herbert, and the adventure since.

We’ve extracted some of our favourite strains below, and you can read the full interview on our website.


What can startups and large organizations learn from each other?
The biggest thing that large organizations can learn from startups is to have a greater bias for action and rethinking what individual accountability means. In all of the large companies I’ve worked for, accountability has been a company value. This typically translates into being accountable for your personal goals.

In a startup, everyone has to roll up their sleeves and not be precious about who is responsible for certain tasks. In this environment, accountability takes on a deeper level of meaning. If you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.

For smaller organizations, it is easy to get caught up in the tactical day to day tasks. Don’t lose sight of the need for strategic direction, goal setting, and the importance of understanding the consumer. A strategy serves as a guardrail and gives you a focal point against which to evaluate tactical decisions. While tactics can and should be open to change, having a well thought out strategy is critical.

What were some of the big challenges you anticipated for the launch of Herbert?
Herbert’s mission is to “turn people on to the ways in which plants can help us lead balanced, present and energized lives.” The herbal ingredients we use in our products are not widely known outside of the naturopathic world.

Educating consumers to help them understand the value of these ingredients, explaining how herbs work and how to use our products are important to proving that Herbert is more than just a delicious beverage.

Our campaign, “Herbert Wisdoms,” is designed to educate the consumer about the transformative effects of herbs and quality ingredients on the human body and psyche. These can range from pithy, attention-grabbing statements to longer more explanatory prose. Wisdoms are shared by Herbert and Herbert’s partners to build credibility.


“To succeed in a startup means having a learning mindset of continual improvement.”

– Nicole Bleiwas, president of Herbert


Highlighting Felicity’s do-gooders

Felicity creative strategist Rob Manne volunteers for ShopHERE, a program by Digital Main Street that provides independent small businesses and artists—particularly those impacted by COVID-19—with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online.

“My partner came across ShopHERE which highlighted the need to help get local Toronto businesses selling online as quickly as possible. I answered their call for volunteers because I had looked for a way to help people deal with the disruptions from COVID-19. I was also curious to learn the Shopify platform and I thought my general marketing communications skills would be an asset. So far I’ve gotten three e-stores ready for launch and I hope to do more,” says Rob.


Feeling inspired? 

Share MarketWell with fellow wellbeing marketers and we’ll make a donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health. The work they are doing is even more important now, than ever.

To your wellbeing,
Amy Laski
Founder and President
Felicity [Inspiring Communications]

Posted on: June 30th, 2020 by

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