Buddy Up - Atom Studio
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Buddy Up

Brand identity & website

A grassroots suicide prevention campaign for men that found international attention.


In Canada, men have a suicide rate three times higher than women. Men are dying in alarming numbers, all around us, alone. How can we change this reality?

The Centre for Suicide Prevention scoured the research and examined many men’s mental health programs from around the world.

They then established an advisory committee to guide the formation of a campaign that would encourage authentic, caring conversations between men.

The goal: To have the campaign break down the stigma of talking about suicide, and model the support required to help our buddies.



Atom Studio proposed telling the story through many characters, called Buddy Up personas. These personas show us what warning signs look like, and what to do about them. We brought in illustrator Kyle Metcalf to draw them. His style gives the campaign a relatable feel, and makes the difficult subject easier to approach.

The campaign has been adapted for many uses, such as billboards, coasters, posters, air fresheners, stickers, and more. What started as a grassroots campaign has grown, with ambassadors joining the Buddy Up movement from around the world. These ‘Buddy Up Champions’ bring awareness and education to their work and home settings, spreading the word further.


Brand Personality





Coasters are the perfect way to start a conversation over a pint. People have to look at both sides to get the full story.


Kyle Metcalf’s persona illustration represent men from all walks of life. They are relatable and spark curiosity.

Air freshener

Did you know that many men have their best, most authentic conversations in the car with a friend? This is because constant eye contact isn’t required or expected. Air fresheners are Buddy Up’s most popular swag items.

Infographic poster

Explaining how to recognize when a friend is struggling, and what to do about it, is a key purpose of Buddy Up.

Outdoor advertising 

Pattison generously donated billboard space for the campaign to get some big exposure.


The website features all the persona stories, valuable information on men’s suicide, and a call to participate by becoming a Buddy Up Champion.

TV ad

Thanks to generous donations by an anonymous donor and Shaw Communications Inc., this commercial aired on CTV and Shaw.


Social media (in both of Canada’s official languages) is an important medium for the campaign.

The Team

  • Art direction: James Jensen
  • Design: James Jensen, Elmer Xavier, Matthew Jacula
  • Development: iOnline
  • Animation: Neels Britz
  • Voiceover: Jason Mathis
  • Sound design: Studio Post
  • Project management: Evonne Tran

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