Obviously. The very purpose of marketing is to affect change. In most cases, of course, the desired outcome of said change is profitability. This is conceptually fine as long as those profits are shared with the people who actually do the work, but don’t get us started.
After spending years at big ad agencies leveraging our creativity to delight corporate shareholders, we realized it was time to create a little change of our own. We founded Most Likely To with a commitment to serve clients who positively impact society and move us towards a more sustainable future. SF Climate Plan
Apologies if you just strained a muscle eye-rolling. We know the whole ‘we just want to make the world a better place’ sentiment is beyond cliché. Like you, we’ve heard it all before from all kinds of companies. (We painfully admit to helping craft such messaging for some of these companies.)
But as a growing list of loyal clients (and awards juries) can attest, we are demonstrably making a difference.
We’re proving that the very same strategic creativity that greases the wheels of capitalism is just as powerful in motivating people to live sustainably. It’s why our recent campaign promoting reuse engaged tens of thousands of San Franciscans and won numerous awards. It’s why our recent clean energy ads are beating performance benchmarks by 10x. It’s why Fast Company featured our campaign that empowers local people in the fight against climate change. It's working.
Turns out we weren’t alone in wanting to leverage our creative powers for good. Our teams are comprised of senior talent who can work anywhere, but crave the opportunity to do work they believe in. That’s why, when you hire us you get access to award-winning creative and strategic talent that other small agencies can’t match.
By combining our myriad skills and genuine passions to create campaigns for clients with sustainability-focused missions, we believe we are most likely to make a positive impact in the world.
Sure, being hippy-dippy tree-hugging marketers means we do fewer Super Bowl ads. But it also means that we wake up every morning with a renewed sense of purpose and a defiant sense of optimism.
So, yes, change can be good. Very good.
The San Francisco Environment Department came to us to find a way to encourage San Franciscans, especially Spanish and Chinese speakers, lower-income and older residents, to turn away from single-use plastic items and choose reusable alternatives instead.
Grounded in an idea from an early creative brainstorm that it would be great if the new “it” bag for the season wasn’t from Hermès or Gucci, but instead just a plain reusable canvas bag, we developed our own “fashion brand”; REUSE. We then hired a top-tier fashion photographer to create images with models accessorized with bags and other reusable items to drive home the message that “Disposable is never a good look.”
The images became the center point of an ad campaign that drove our target audiences to both a stylish, purpose-built website as well as pop-up activations where they could pose for their own high-fashion photo, and get a free reusable bag or mug in exchange for posting their image on social—further boosting buzz around the campaign.
Digital channels boosted the frequency of exposure and geotargeting drove day-of activation attendance, where thousands of residents lined up to participate over several weeks.
The campaign prioritized Latinx and Asian audiences, as research revealed they are less engaged around reuse.
We created a website that featured a reuse pledge, educated about reusables and inspired people to attend pop-up events throughout San Francisco. Visit site.
Our booth with a professional photographer popped up in the neighborhoods we wanted to target. Four thousand people posted their picture with #ReuseSF, spread the word and received a free reusable.
User-generated-style videos achieved engagement rates that beat benchmarks by 7x.
In 2023, the Presidio, a spectacular National Park located in San Francisco, embarked on a campaign to increase visitation from Bay Area residents—in particular those residents who have never visited and who have been an historically underrepresented presence in national parks. The objective was to promote a sense of belonging, delivering on the Park mission to provide national park experiences for all.
To ensure that our campaign would effectively challenge dated perceptions and better reflect the diversity of people and interests within our communities, we engaged community partners and leaders, an outdoor equity consultant, and stakeholders of the Park. At the end of our discovery process, we decided to strategically “flip the script” on traditional National Park messaging and put the emphasis on what our unique visitors contribute to the park experience, rather than focusing solely on the benefits of the park itself.
The resulting campaign showcased the visitors as much as the natural environment, driven by the inclusive invitation to “Bring Your Own” personality, culture, and interests to the Park.
The OOH and digital campaign utilized real, relatable vignettes of visitors enjoying the Presidio in their own unique ways, driving home the underlying message that “whoever you are, we welcome what you bring to the party.”
We enlisted Bay Area influencers to authentically amplify the message to residents who hadn’t felt welcome in the past.
The San Francisco Public Utilities asked us to develop a campaign to drive enrollment in their SuperGreen 100% Renewable Energy product, stipulating that the campaign should be supported by an out-of-the-box, culturally-competent activation.
We recommended that the campaign focus on renters. They comprise over 60% of the SF population and most aren’t aware they can upgrade to 100% renewable energy—just like homeowners.
Our creative team decided to use a visual pun to playfully convey the idea of making your apartment Super Green, by first constructing a detailed recreation of an apartment living room and then literally painting the set, and everything in it, vivid green. The resulting video made for scroll-stopping digital content—but that was only the first half of the idea. The “SuperGreen ” apartment was broken down and reassembled at street fairs across the city to create an Instagram-able pop up that extended the digital campaign, fueled our social campaign and inspired San Francisco residents to sign up for SuperGreen clean energy, on the spot.
The San Francisco Climate Action Plan (CAP) charts a path for San Francisco to realize net-zero emissions by 2040. The Plan impacts almost every aspect of life in San Francisco, yet, most San Franciscans had never heard of it.
Our challenge: How do you make San Franciscans care about a “Plan”, and get them to adopt the many actions it prescribes?
First, we established a brand platform and visual guidelines, so that the Climate Plan became a recognizable and trusted “brand” over time. Next, we dug into research that revealed how years of negative news had rendered many residents disengaged and pessimistic about climate change, when, in fact, the everyday actions San Franciscans were taking had made a remarkable positive impact: Climate pollution in SF was down 48% since the Climate Plan was enacted.
We decided to anchor our campaign around a singular, encouraging message to every San Francisco resident: “Thanks to you, the plan is working.”
We ran print ads in popular local in-language publications, held Climate Fairs in Spanish and Chinese throughout the city, and created unique content, designed to resonate with Latinx and Chinese cultures.
Social videos featured San Franciscans taking action
Every element drove to an ADA-compliant, multilingual website where visitors learned how they could take action and viewed the City’s progress toward net-zero emissions on an interactive Dashboard. Visit site
In the end, the campaign not only exceeded our client’s wildest expectations, but got rave reviews from some big time, non-industry publications including Fast Company.
Ariel Investments is the world’s largest African-American-owned Mutual Fund. Founded by John Rogers, who is recognized as one of the best money managers of the modern era, Ariel is committed to spreading financial literacy, especially to underserved audiences.
Ariel sought to further that mission using social media, and hired us to help. To build community with new and underserved investors we created content that inspires, entertains, and educates around financial literacy. We developed a fresh new design system and launched John Rogers, Mellody Hobson and Ariel Investments on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. 12 months later we’d built robust, engaged communities across all platforms, and we’re proud to say, helped a wide array of uninitiated investors become educated and confident about their money.
We developed new font and color combinations to add depth and vibrancy.
New, own-able graphic treatments added depth and vibrancy.
The result was a clearer and more ownable expression of Ariel’s personality and literacy mission.
80 thousand followers gained in the first year.
The San Francisco Reframing Aging Campaign, a collective of city agencies, asked us to help increase public awareness of ageism and disrupt negative stereotypes of aging.
In researching the issue and looking into the eyes of residents affected by ageism, it became clear that ageism erodes the self-worth of those subject to it. Thus our campaign came to focus on the eyes, or the “windows to the soul” (and, fun fact, the only part of the human body that does not visibly age from birth). Challenging the association of vitality and youth, we juxtaposed the vibrant eyes of an older adult over the face of a younger person, creating a slightly disorienting but engaging visual.
To deepen the impact of the campaign, we cast five older San Franciscans with storied pasts as the “eye” models. Visitors to the campaign website were able to reveal the full portrait of the individuals featured and discover their unique personal histories.
The website, designed in accordance with ADA guidelines, provided information and resources on the issue, as well as a sharable personal pledge to help end ageism.
We enlisted more than 30 community agencies to create their own versions of the ads featuring their own members, further spreading the message and celebrating the people.
Co-Founder of San Francisco agency School of Thought, and former VP of Creative at Agency.com, Joe believes agencies must earn their place at the table by doing the work to become experts in their clients’ businesses. This has led to long relationships with such clients as SF Environment, CleanPowerSF, Milliman, and many more. Joe feeds his soul through writing, photography, backpacking, and as advisor and contributor to SF’s TNDC, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and SF Connect.
Trent is a storyteller with a Hollywood heritage. He spent years concepting and writing ads and trailers for major studios and networks including FX, HBO, Netflix, and Warner Bros. Prior to that, he was a writer and creative director at traditional advertising agencies all over the world (literally), with extensive experience in travel and tourism for Starwood, Hyatt and Hawaiian tourism. He is also a dedicated member of the Board of trustees for Children’s Community School, an independent elementary school in Los Angeles that actively promotes social equality and prepares kids to be fully engaged in the democratic process.
Joanne’s expertise ranges from managing campaign development to broadcast and print production. In earlier lives Joanne was Managing Director at Nomad Creative Studio, running client business for IBM, Facebook and Hippo Insurance. Before Nomad, Joanne worked at Secret Weapon Marketing where her teams earned 10 Effie Awards. Joanne has led teams at world-class creative agencies all over the country, including TBWA\Chiat\Day, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Kirshenbaum & Bond, Anderson & Lembke and Pagano Schenck & Kay. She will, at the drop of a hat, cross the globe to see her post-college kids.
Noël is a big picture thinker who never loses sight of the details. She sees the trees. And the forest. And understands what needs to happen for the entire ecosystem to function properly. She’s led initiatives for such organizations as Airbnb, HP, Deckers (Ugg), Ariel Investments and SF Environment. Earlier in her career she was interim Executive Director for the Richmond (VA) Parks Foundation and helped establish non-profit, SportABLE, an adaptive sports organization. These days you’ll find her hitting the trails in the Marin Headlands or venturing to one of our many Bay Area parks with her 6-going-on-16-year-old daughter.
A strategic and creative leader with 10+ years of experience leading brand marketing for national and local brands, Rebecca knows how to make the most of budgets from $15K-15M and has done so for some of the top creative agencies in advertising, from Cliff Freeman to AKQA to Division of Labor, picking up One Show Interactive Gold and Cannes Silver Cyber Lion awards along the way. At MLT Rebecca leads the MCE and SF Elections accounts.
A voracious reader and learner, Lakenda has years of experience successfully managing web redesigns, digital campaigns, her own perfume business, and an additional career as a digital marketing instructor. She gets it all done without missing a beat and without the smile ever leaving her face.
Brenda grew up through the ranks of traditional large agencies including: DDB Needham, EvansGroup, Publicis, and ZenithOptimedia, culminating in roles as SVP/Media Director and a National Director of Digital media. With Most Likely To, Brenda has led comms and media strategies for the CleanPowerSF (SFPUC), MCE (Marin Clean Electric) and the SF Dept of Elections. Beyond client media work Brenda also serves on the Board of Advisors for All Within My Hands Metallica Foundation and on the Executive Team for the Pecos Baseball League.
At SF ad agency Eleven, and then client side at Charles Schwab, Rafael was an indispensable strategist, leading Virgin America and establishing the digital paid advertising practice. He joined Most Likely To in 2020, becoming every client’s digital media ace in the hole. Rafael is a world traveler extraordinaire, entirely immune to jet lag.
Natalie is like a translation service to keep the business side stress-free and the creative side flowing free! Not only is she a genius number cruncher, she’s also a professional organizer and true government form whisperer. If that’s not enough Natalie is also a mom and an artist with an MFA in sculpture from U.C. Santa Barbara.