Responding to a statewide initiative, several regional organizations came together to prevent children from slipping through the cracks. For the project’s strategy, website, and branding, they looked to MAC.


There’s a statewide initiative in Oregon to address societal problems such as crime, substance abuse, and mental illness. Our client, Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC), wanted to address those issues: keeping children from slipping through the cracks by connecting families with the education and resources needed to overcome the challenges they face.


Initially funded by the region’s coordinated care organization, IHN-CCO, this project partners with hospitals, social service organizations, public health and education efforts, and a local parenting education collaborative.


After doing the research to understand the core challenge, the MAC took an iterative approach, working with our client to develop a strategy, naming and identity, and messaging system that represents the coordinated effort of multiple organizations, balances government objectives, and fulfills technical requirements and HIPAA compliance.


The result? An effective brand identity and website that serves the needs of its audience and delivers on its objectives.


  • Strategy

  • Messaging

  • Naming

  • Branding

  • Website



Crime, substance abuse, and mental illness are widespread problems, and they bear a significant impact on the communities they affect. When state officials launched an initiative to address these issues on a regional basis, our client took up the challenge.




LBCC and its partners wanted to align healthcare, parenting education, and early childhood services (prenatal to age five) in the counties of Linn, Benton, and Lincoln in Oregon: providing families with the resources to respond to challenges at any point on their journey.

At the MAC, we base our work on a clear understanding of the project’s core problems. Our first step was to conduct extensive interviews with target audience members and internal stakeholders.


We were deeply struck by the fact that societal problems like crime, substance abuse, and mental illness don’t come out of nowhere. Every incident has a backstory, though we may not know it’s brewing until it makes a headline.


If we could address these issues before they emerge, we could make a difference. But how do you solve a problem that hasn’t yet surfaced?


The answer lay in education. We realized that if we can equip parents with the resources to overcome any challenge, we can keep vulnerable children from slipping through the cracks.


The problem is, there’s a stigma to needing help. People don’t want to feel like they need parenting classes, especially if they’ve already been doing this a while. Providing resources is not enough: it does no good if those who need help don’t reach out.


That’s when we identified early outreach as the strategic lynchpin. If parenting education begins at pregnancy, when families are eager for information and hopeful about the future, we can normalize support, connect families with resources, and be there for them down the road as challenges emerge.


Although this project is driven by several major regional institutions, it cannot afford to feel institutional. To resonate with parents, we knew the brand needed to feel human.


After a broad exploration of options, we recommended the name Pollywog to convey tenderness, transition and growth. We gave the brand a living, growing feeling to evoke the optimism and transformation of young children and new beginnings.

Based on our research, we made lead capture a major objective of the project’s website. Wherever a parent may be in their journey, we want to bring them into the system so they can access the resources they may need down the road.


During the development process, we worked with our client’s lead development company to integrate the website with the CCO’s HIPAA-compliant database.

It’s important for a branding agency to have a true grasp of the outcomes of a project to understand how to effectively market it. We are absolutely thrilled with how the branding turned out.

Kristi May, Director of Early Learning Hub, Linn-Benton Community College

Our client asked us to invent a brand while balancing government objectives, technical web requirements and messaging challenges. We brought the investigative research and multidisciplinary skill set to understand the project’s core problems, then solve them in an elegant way.


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