mcgarrybown’s powerful new work for Howard Brown

The creative agency and the
Chicago healthcare center
offer dignity, inclusion
and resources
through new
“Culturally Competent
Healthcare” campaign

mcgarrybowen Chicago abetted the Howard Brown Health Center in a monthlong takeover of four Red Line cars that went into effect this month.

Dubbed the “The Pride Train,” the cars are filled with ads featuring headlines like, “We won’t put you back in the closet,” “We won’t assume you’re straight,” and “We won’t make you feel invisible.”

The graphic messages are part of a powerful and important Culturally Competent Healthcare campaign for Howard Brown, the Chicago-based healthcare center that focuses on eliminating disparities experienced by LGBTQ people and others who are medically underserved in healthcare.

Additional ads greet passengers on the platform at several red line stations in the city, as well as on some 77thGarage Bus Lines, all sponsored by Howard Brown Health.



According to Howard Brown President and CEO David Ernesto Munar, the work helps to “raise awareness about the stigma-free experience they can expect when accessing healthcare and social services at Howard Brown.”

“These ads have an authentic voice and feature vivid images of real people — the very people we help at Howard Brown each and every day,” says Howard Brown President and CEO David Ernesto Munar. “The ads tap into the real world bias that many in the community face when accessing healthcare elsewhere.”



The campaign’s powerful and relatable messaging informed the mcgarrybown creative team, many of whom are members of the LGBTQ community themselves.

“As a queer, non-binary, POC creative, I jumped on this opportunity, no hesitation,” says Creative Director Nako Okubo. “We’re always tasked with learning about and taking on the mindset of a target, but we rarely get to just BE the target. Our core team made this work by digging into our own experiences, both the struggles and the celebrations. That is why this work is powerful. And that is why a diverse spectrum of experiences matters.”

The Culturally Competent Healthcare campaign also reinforces mcgarrybowen’s inspiration to create what Chief Creative Officer Kurt Fries describes as, “work that wins in the world.”

“I can’t think of anything more reflective of that than connecting with an often-marginalized community in a way that makes them feel truly understood,” he explains. “Those types of wins are really the most important. We were thrilled to have the honor to work with Howard Brown Health to ensure people understand their mission and why it’s so important in the LGBTQIA community and beyond.”

Client: Howard Brown Health
   Chief Executive Office & President: David E. Munar
   Senior VP of External Relations: Diane Pascal
   Director of Marketing & Communications: Erik Roldan
   Communications Manager: Casey Callich

Agency: mcgarrybowen Chicago
   Chief Creative Officer: Kurt Fries
   Creative Director: Nako Okubo
   Associate Copywriter: Miles Johnson
   Director of Production: Lisa Zitella
   Studio Director: Michael Wade
   Studio Production Lead: Garrett Kellogg
   Senior Retoucher: Andrew Sherman
   Proofreader: Elaine Friedberg
   Studio Manager: Tracy Tran
   Executive Strategy Director: Shawna Ross
   Strategy Director: Rachel Plein
   Account Managing Director: Ellen Cohen
   Account Supervisor: Herminia Chase
   Assistant Account Executive: Sydney Spreen

Photography: John Gress
Animator: Dan Pattelli

Transit Media: Intersection

Send your campaign updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton,