The ASD Band
Health | Social Impact & Sustainability | Brand
Jake’s House presents the ASD Band, named for autism spectrum disorder, featuring four talented autistic individuals (Rawan Tuffaha, Jackson Begley, Ron Adea and Spenser Murray) who joined forces to prove to the world that together, those on the spectrum can accomplish amazing things.
Jake’s House charity was born to provide much-needed emotional support for Canadians on the autism spectrum. With a mission to provide a connection point for those who too often feel isolated from society, this grassroots charity gives Canadian families living with autism a sense of belonging.
We needed to generate fundraising support to help this small charity compete with higher profile and larger autism organizations, as well as to stand out amongst a very crowded charity landscape during the height of the pandemic.
To put the band in the spotlight, we created a feature-length documentary called ‘OKAY!’ that followed their journey as they wrote, recorded and performed an album of original songs.
Because of the communication struggles of those on the spectrum, many with autism struggle to be heard. To address this reality, we turned to research and discovered that beyond all their limitations, those with autism also exhibit various areas of strength including musical ability. In fact, numerous studies show that many children with ASD have highly developed musical “splinter skills”, displaying outstanding abilities in tone memory and pitch discrimination.
Our goal became to give those who have difficulty with self-expression the chance to show the world what they were truly capable of, on their own terms. To do so, we followed the individuals and their families over a six-month period while they were writing, recording and performing their original album, showing their transformation both as individuals and as a collective. This inspirational story became the beating heart of our fundraising efforts.
The effort began in the Summer of 2021 with the band writing and arranging an album’s worth of original material and performing it at The Opera House, one of Toronto’s most celebrated concert halls where acts like Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Metallica and Eminem have played.
The documentary had its World Premiere at Hot Docs in April 2022, one of the most prestigious documentary film festivals in the world. It was also accepted into the Cannes Independent Cinema Festival, being recognized as an award winner, as well as Doc Edge in New Zealand. The band even earned the attention of Imagine Dragons, one of the biggest pop bands in the world, who commented “such a great and inspiring performance.”
During promotion of the film, the band and their abilities were showcased across all media, including TV appearances, radio play, streaming interviews, and a showcase performance at the World Premiere.
- The campaign increased donations for this small, grassroots charity by almost a million dollars in a pandemic year, representing a 226% increase with an ROI of 2,731%.
- +200M earned impressions, including every major Canadian media outlet
vs. Previous year