Thank a Framer 2018

#THANKAFRAMER Month Salutes American Heroes


Having worked with Jib for 14+ years on Norbord‘s US advertising, I perked up when an unusual brief crashed onto my desk last summer.

It said, “Norbord wants to show the love to framers,” the carpenters who install its wood-based wall sheathing, sub-flooring and sub-roofing products. They needed something that would position hardworking framers as American heroes.




Side note: Some 95% of US framers are Hispanic, and as you might’ve heard, the US administration is not exactly in the midst of a “We Love Hispanics!” moment. They seem to be the only people in the US who want to earn $8-12 grand a month doing rough carpentry.

I developed a video concept and the “Ode to American Framers” poem that overlays it. Then came the THANKAFRAMER website, with a contest and a print campaign to launch it in the trades.



We launched #THANKAFRAMER in English and Spanish via Facebook and other social channels on Sept 1/17.

Objective: 500,000 views by month’s end. Reality: 800,000. By November, we’d hit 1.5m. By May 2018, over 3,000,000 views. As of July 2018, 4.2 million views.

The response from framers was rapid and unequivocal: They LOVED it! Thank-yous to Norbord poured in profusely. Framers posted pictures of themselves, their crews, their best work, their families.

Young American men and women wrote us, asking how to become framers.

It was mind-blowing, moving and tear-jerking.

Meanwhile, we cajoled Norbord to donate — at first US$200,000; weeks later $1.1 million — to the US Home Builders Institute, to fund new training & recruitment programs aimed at addressing the shortage (currently at 200,000) of skilled laborers in US home building.

#THANKAFRAMER 2018 will be much bigger. Watch this space.

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