Cox & FCB bring families together with The Hug Project

As the world reemerges, people can begin to connect again, but for those who are immunocompromised, social distancing and separation extend past the pandemic. As a technology company — and a human company — Cox Communications aims to be a part of the solution to safely help families that are unable to reunite in person.

In an effort to help close the distance between people and their loved ones, Cox and FCB, in partnership with interactive fashion brand CuteCircuit, connect immunocompromised families with “The Hug Project.” The campaign showcases a first-of-its-kind innovation that allows loved ones to embrace virtually across the nation — the HugShirt.

Cox and FCB utilized the HugShirts to reunite three families — the Browns, the Hellons and the Trotts — who are unable to reunite in person even as the vaccine rollout continues, and documented their stories.  

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Designed to help safely close the distance between people and their loved ones, the HugShirt uses Wi-Fi, plus strategically placed haptic actuators and sensors, in combination with a designated app, to provide a whole new way for people to connect and embrace while remaining physically distant. Through the app, users can connect their own HugShirt to a loved one’s and share a unique embrace, giving any user the feeling they need to feel physical touch and personal connection. 

“Over the past year, we all learned what it’s like to be without human interaction,” said FCB Chicago Chief Creative Officer Andrés Ordóñez. “We admire Cox for practicing what they believe and using technology to bring individuals closer together, even when it can’t be in person. While technology can often be seen as cold, it was very powerful to see a brand tap technology in a heartwarming way that drives real human connections.” 

“The Hug Project” is the latest series of work between Cox and FCB aimed toward delivering human connection where it’s needed most. “We are proud to work closely with FCB as they continue to help us highlight moments of real human connection enabled by technology,” said Cox Communications SVP, Brand, Gaston Vaneri. “As our largest agency partner, working across many of our products and divisions, we look forward to telling more powerful stories like this in the future.”

In 2012, FCB became Cox’s acquisition agency of record, responsible for demand-driving work from mass to targeted channels. Over the decade since, the agency’s partnership has deepened to include a wide range of work, from brand and product advertising to performance-driving 1:1 to UX and digital design.

This recent project fuels FCB’s overall momentum as the agency continues to execute and invest in data- and technology-fueled creativity. Last month, FCB appointed Tina Allan as its Global Partner and first-ever Head of Data Science and Connections. The agency’s work also recently picked up top honors at the ANDYs, where FCB was named most awarded network for the second consecutive year, and the Clios, winning the Grand Clio for Creative Use of Data.

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