B&T Awards The Work: The B&T Award For Diversity Finalists Laid Bare

B&T Awards The Work: The B&T Award For Diversity Finalists Laid Bare

Continuing our celebrations of the fabulous short-listed work for Australia’s most prestigious awards competition, the B&T Awards, today we turn our attention to those agencies making a difference in bringing diversity and inclusion into the communications industry.

Produced in partnership with Only One In The Room, The B&T Award for Diversity – The Work, celebrates brilliant, culture-shifting work. A campaign or execution that pushes boundaries, promotes conversation and highlights the lives of multicultural, under-represented and marginalised Australians.

Judges will look for the overall creativity and innovation within the context of the brief and against the objective of the campaign and quality of execution. We welcomed entries big and small. Please note: the outcome of the campaign does not influence the scoring of this category as the judges will award points based on how the work promotes conversation and highlights the lives of multicultural, under-represented and marginalised Australians.

Most importantly, while we have a long short list below, there was in fact far more entries than those shown below this year. Now that’s something worth celebrating.

Of course, now that you’re invested in shortlisted entries, why not come along and see who will be crowned the winners at the Hordern Pavilion on Friday 24 November 2023? Early bird tickets are limited so don’t run the risk of paying full price later.

Secure your table now!

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out the entire short lists for the 2023 B&T Awards here and here.

Catch up also on the B&T Awards shortlisted work here:

Below are the finalists with each heading showing the name of the agency, the name of the campaign and then the client footing the bill. The words are as submitted by the entrant.

Bastion, Not Done Yet, Rexona

The challenge:

Rexona is a brand that believes in the power of movement to transform lives and that everyone should be able to experience the incredible physical, mental and social benefits that movement brings.

After research identified that more than 50% of Australians don’t move enough due to physical or mental barriers holding them back, driven by misrepresentations and stereotypes of people that ‘move’, Rexona wanted to challenge society’s narrow limits of what an acceptable mover looks like in order to make movement inclusive for everyone.

To do this, Rexona asked Bastion to develop a purpose-led campaign that challenges these cultural norms, encouraging all Australians – whatever shape, size, look or ability, to move more.

The thinking:

We knew that movement means something different to everyone. Our strategy was to develop a platform and campaign that really championed that, encouraging all Australians, no matter their shape, size, age or ability, to break through their limits and move more in whatever manner or approach is comfortable to them.

The idea:

Not done yet.

Partnering with 2022 Australian of the Year and a retired Paralympic, Dylan Alcott as well as other Australian influencers, including Turia Pitt and Adam Goodes, Not done yet is a rally cry for overcoming barriers, called out by inspirational Australians who have faced and overcome their own physical or mental barriers to movement across a mix of media channels.

The outcome:

The campaign features Unilever’s first fully inclusive production with 100% disability representation in front and behind the camera, encouraging Aussies to move more with inclusive campaigning.

The campaign doesn’t just inspire and encourage Aussies to push through the hardship of physical and mental barriers, but also genuinely helps them through grants allowing access to sport, wheelchairs and equipment – creating not just conversation, but action.

HERO, Through Their Eyes, Maybelline

Maybelline New York wanted to engage with Gen Z, in particular the burgeoning gaming demographic, now with a total audience of 17 million in Australia. The brief was to connect with young female gamers in a meaningful and authentic way and enrich their gaming experiences.

The brand had a clear and long-established purpose; ‘give everyone the self-confidence to express their beauty, to play and to make change’. We knew of anecdotal evidence that female identifying gamers were facing constant abuse online resulting in many playing in silence, or not at all. It seemed the online gaming world was a place where many don’t feel free to express themselves.

To change the game, we commissioned an Australian research survey with over 600 gamers to garner deeper insights into the problem and the results were confronting. Over 83% of female identifying gamers have experienced abusive behaviour online and as a result the majority turn off their microphones.

Our strategy was not just to simply shine a light on an existing problem, but to amplify the silent voices on the subject matter, and create allies both male and female in the online gaming world.

We set out to show male gamers what it was like to play through a woman’s eyes. Two prominent Aussie male gamers had their real identities disguised with voice modification software and fake female profiles in an online first-person shooter game. They experienced first-hand the level of constant abuse and bullying experienced by the opposite sex.

Shared out by our four gamer influencers, the film quickly resonated with the online gaming community and beyond. Appreciating they’d been heard, female-identifying players shared their stories, many who had been hiding in silence, and most importantly millions of male gamers called for others to stand up and say something.

Howatson+Company, EXHIBIT A-i, Maurice Blackburn

For over ten years, thousands of people seeking asylum in Australia by boat have been stopped by the Australian Navy & sent to offshore detention centres in Nauru, Manus Island & Papua New Guinea.

They wait indefinitely to be processed, held in privately owned prisons. Cameras & journalists are banned. Guards are all-powerful. Neither the public nor politicians know what occurs inside, leading to atrocities that have been hidden from view.?

Australia’s leading social justice law firm, Maurice Blackburn, had been running a class action lawsuit on behalf of survivors against the government, arguing that indefinite offshore detention should be unlawful. Unfortunately, in 2021, due to a change in the law, the case was dismissed. However, Maurice Blackburn still believed survivors’ stories deserved to be heard.

Their brief was to create widespread awareness of the atrocities survivors experienced to try to use these stories to provoke policy change discussions.?

Our brief was to bring these stories to life in a way that did justice to the brave witnesses that shared their harrowing experiences and delivered emotional engagement to a largely complacent mass Australia.

At the heart of the campaign is a book of evidence submitted to members of the Australian Parliament and used in 1:1 meetings with key policy-makers. The book was also sent to leading journalists, garnering worldwide attention. To launch this campaign publicly, immersive exhibitions were held at Australia’s Parliament House and Immigration Museum – where the images and stories were printed and exhibited within barbed wire fencing. Additionally, we partnered with the editorial stock library, Shutterstock, to upload our visuals to their website so that they could sit alongside real photojournalism. The words and images were also displayed on a microsite, OOH and social.?



Innocean, Show Up For IWD, Fck The Cupcakes


1 in 2 men think we’ve done enough to fix gender equality [IPSOS 2022]. Leaving women twice as likely to organise equality initiatives like International Women’s Day (IWD). A day that’s largely seen by men as a “women’s event”.

Yet engaging men can have the biggest impact on gender equality [UN Women, 2021].

At a time saturated with campaigns talking to women, we needed to cut through and speak with men.

But we couldn’t use shaming tactics that only caused them to shy away. We needed to lean into their interests while being provocative enough to get them talking.

Inviting men to International Women’s Day in a way they couldn’t ignore.

Every phase of our campaign was designed to be shared with men and let them know that showing up, leaning in and listening was the most powerful message they could send this IWD.

Taking on the world’s biggest misogynist, Andrew Tate, and his army of followers to turn his hateful words into an open invitation to ‘Show up’ this IWD.

Replacing the online phenomenon of unsolicited dick pics with Unsolicited Invites. Using tongue-in-cheek language to turn a tactic used by misogynistic men into a weapon for good.

Supplying men with thought leadership pieces, FAQs and even email templates to get their employers on board with supporting equal attendance at their IWD events.

With a $0 media budget, men went from standing by to leaning in and showing that equality starts with equal attendance.
21.8 million people reached, globally
59% uplift in male engagement
41.3% male social engagement
$670k in earned media
11k unique website visits
772% increase in traffic YoY

M&C Saatchi Group, Come and Say G’day, Tourism Australia

Tourism Australia’s ‘Come and Say G’day’ campaign celebrated the essential role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in the country’s identity. Collaborating with Aboriginal Land Councils, Indigenous communities, Elders, and consultants during the campaign’s conception ensured authentic representation.
To embody the campaign’s ambition, a timeless soundtrack reflecting Australian land and culture was sought for the 9-minute film ‘G’Day’. Indigenous communities, with their little-known musical traditions and languages facing extinction, were turned to for inspiration.

Drawing from the original Australian Indigenous culture, a captivating and unique soundtrack was crafted, providing a global platform for these ancient and engaging musical traditions. A reimagining of Men at Work’s classic “Land Down Under,” sung in ‘Yolnu Matha’ by the Aboriginal band King Stingray, became the centerpiece. The track gained immense popularity, featuring on Spotify, and King Stingray performed it at prestigious events like the APRA music awards and the annual Dreamtime at the ‘G AFL match.

Over four months and in eight cities, the campaign engaged over 100 musicians, including multiple composers, choirs, orchestras, and acclaimed Aboriginal artists like Frank Yamba, The Iwiri Choir, Marliya of Gondwana Indigenous Girls Choir, and didgeridoo artist William Barton. This unique musical composition, drawing from the world’s oldest living culture, formed the core of the campaign’s narrative, captivating millions and illuminating musical traditions previously unheard outside Indigenous lands.

The ‘G’Day’ film’s pinnacle at Uluru featured Charmaine Kulitja, an Anangu Traditional Custodian artist, speaking in Pitjantjatjara, a Western Desert Indigenous dialect. Translated as “the stories live through the people,” this emphasised the significance of language and the deep Indigenous connection to Country, where land and people intertwine. The ‘Come and Say G’day’ campaign has been viewed over 1.1billion times across all channels and markets, sharing the indigenous language, musical traditions and culture with the world.

Provocate, Cost of life, not just living: Suicide Prevention Australia Community Tracker, Suicide Prevention Australia


For Provocate to develop and drive a strictly earned, public relations-led awareness and advocacy strategy to assist peak body Suicide Prevention Australia (350+ members) in accelerating elevation of suicide prevention to a whole-of-government, not just mental health, policy response to combat rising rates of inflation, interest and suicide.


Provocate developed the Suicide Prevention Australia Community Tracker (SPAct) in response. The quarterly poll of over 1000 Australians (YoUGov) measures personal elevated distress beyond normal levels against 10 key economic and social determinants of suicide, linked to their deeper impacts on rates of suicidal behaviour, mental illness and frontline service demand – the latter measures previously only measured every 10-15 years by the ABS.


Provocate delivered this by filling critical knowledge gaps through creation of a compelling data-driven content program that helped raise SPA’s profile, reputation and trusted adviser status to key economic and social policy decision makers, incl. the Prime Minister, Treasurer, Reserve Bank Govenor and ‘Big4’ Banks.


By pairing these insights with tracking against externa data sets, such as rates of interest, inflation and suicide – and pairing their release with RBA meeting dates – Provocate was able to leverage public, policy and political demand for cost-of-living content to overcome suicide research and reporting stigmas to increase SPA’s awareness and advocacy, while providing the dual public service of rapid targeting, tailoring and scaling of hope&help-seeking messages into the interest rate debate in real-time.


This is evidenced by SPAct instantly becoming ‘go to’ community sentiment tracker that put SPA in Top 10 of all member (lobby) groups with 5700 media mentions/127million audience reach (Streem) past 12 months, half-of-which (66 million) included help-seeking details, while increasing public (66%-to-79%), sector (76%) and government support (national strategy) for formal whole-of-government approach, incl. Prime Minister making lowering suicide rates a “personal priority”.

R/GA, Blak Powerhouse, We Are Warriors (WAW)

We Are Warriors (WAW) launched on January 26, 2022, intentionally subverting the day’s contentious legacy and reclaiming it for Indigenous Australians. The Indigenous-owned social enterprise spotlights Blak excellence so the next generation can see it to be it. Quickly gaining momentum, a year later, we were asked to strategise a way to bring the community together and maintain that positive energy.

Our idea was ambitious. A takeover of one of Sydney’s iconic museums – The Powerhouse. But we only had six weeks to make it a reality.

Historically, organisations are focused on attempting to change how non-Indigenous Australians see Indigenous youth. But real change starts from the inside. WAW is changing how Indigenous youth see themselves; making Indigenous success more visible; so they can see it to be it.

Enter the Blak Powerhouse – a free, all-ages event of art, photography, music, dance, discussion, and premiere of documentary film, Through the Fire. On January 26, 2023, We Are Warriors transformed a historically white colonial space to hold a history-making event that championed Blak Excellence.

The takeover was designed to reframe the focus of January 26 and transform it from a mournful reminder of the past to a day celebrating the survival of Indigenous peoples in Australia, pride and positivity in the present, and the possibilities of the future. And it succeeded.

Visual art and musical performances from the likes of Luke Currie-Richardson, Barkaa, and Kobie Dee; panel discussions lead by activist Penny Towney; the premiere of WAW original documentary film Through The Fire, the Powerhouse was packed full of pride and positivity.

An advertising equivalent value of AU$800k in media coverage, the largest attendance in Powerhouse history, over $1M in sponsorships with global partners like Adobe, Google and TikTok, now the Powerhouse museum will hold Blak Powerhouse annually.

SBS, We all speak football, SBS

This entry highlights how SBS used its campaign for the FIFA World Cup 2022 to demonstrate how its function is not just provide multilingual and multicultural media services to communities but also to build social cohesion and to promote understanding and acceptance of the cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity.

The key insight: that regardless of background or language, there are universal emotional experiences we all share. We all understand love and laughter, we all speak hungry and yummy. There is no better example of this than football. We all understand the passion, pride and pain of watching our nation compete in the World Cup.

Our creative idea. No matter what language you speak “We all speak football.”

Our aim was to highlight unique ways different nations “speak” football, while at the same time illustrating how the event connects us together.
Working with our internal language and cultural experts we identified unique ways that different nations “speak” football and illustrated this by the common fan experience of face painting as well as various watching occasions that suited the segment and cultural group. In excess of five hundred assets were produced across twelve languages placed Australia wide with TV, digital, social, OOH in multiple formats in transit, cross track, street furniture and digital large format placement targeted based on team and language.

The campaign over-delivered on every brand reputation metric for SBS with audience perception of SBS promoting cultural diversity +33% versus average and social cohesion +18% (as measured by our SBS national audience survey), proving that we truly “all speak football”

The Core Agency, An ordinary day, PwC

An ordinary day
It’s shocking to hear that one in three Australians have experienced sexual harassment in their workplace.
This is because the usual depiction of disrespect and harassment are the big and obvious acts. And what many don’t realise is that it’s the everyday microaggressions and unconscious bias which accumulate and escalate into serious incidents.
So, we created a short film to show what an ordinary day looks like for many marginalised people and how it makes them feel. The script is light-hearted and harmless at first, before escalating to become truly confronting.
The message is clear – disrespect has no place in an ordinary day. The film received the highest participation rate of any PwC eLearn and was praised by staff as their best ever.

The Royals, Better with age, Wild Secrets


Wild Secrets “Better with age”
Direct Mail, digital, OOH, print, PR

At a time when sex positivity is on the rise, ageing and sexual pleasure remains a no-go area. People aged over 65s are hugely underrepresented when it comes to sex – in health documents, popular culture and advertising – and often represented through an ageist lens.

That’s not good enough for online sex toy retailer Wild Secrets, which is on a mission to normalise sexual pleasure for everybody. Including over 65s.

So The Royals were tasked with reaching over-65s to start a conversation about sex, and introduce them to sex toys, on their terms.

Armed with insights from a survey of over 500 Australians aged 65+ that showed 1 in 3 over 65s are comfortable using sex toys, The Royals set out to subvert society’s ageist assumptions about what life is like after 65. They did that by tapping into the card that’s in the back pocket of every Australian senior, making Wild Secrets the first adult retailer to offer a senior citizens card discount.

The 20% discount was promoted via a specially designed 16-page catalogue – gently introducing the topic in the privacy of the home – as well as mobile digital OOH, a targeted BVOD 30-second spot, and long-copy print ads in retirement living liftouts.

The results were phenomenal:

10% lift in new website visits from customers 65+
19% lift in transactions from customers 65+
32% lift in revenue from customers 65+

And the ‘Better With Age’ campaign demonstrated that targeting an overlooked audience on their terms can be extremely powerful – not only in terms of breaking stigma, but in delivering strong results too. And most of all, that desire never retires.

Wavemaker, Sound of a Smile, Colgate

Colgate is a major sponsor of Australian Rules Football, as the smile of the AFL.

Aussie Rules is meant to be the game of Australia, but it isn’t always accessible to all Australians.
1 in 6 Aussies experience some form of healing loss.

On a mission to make the game more inclusive, Colgate supports deaf QAFLW player Jamie Howell.

It all started with an inspiring local footy story – Jamie’s team surprised her by performing their club song entirely in Australian sign language, Auslan.

We made it our mission to spread this story of optimism in action through paid media in video channels.

But we didn’t stop there…

We harnessed the power of social media to help others put that optimism into action themselves.

We introduced Auscheer which broke the sound barrier between deaf and hearing fans.

Just in time for footy finals and the commencement of AFLW season, we took each club song and for the first time, translated them into AUSLAN, designed specifically to be duetted on social media.

Fans got on board, AFL superstars got on board, even the AFL got on board.

The final piece was bringing the sound of a smile from out of the stands and onto the field. In partnership with Steeden, we helped develop and fund the first production run of ‘Hear Gear’, a ground-breaking protective headgear designed and equipped with specialised technology to assist Deaf and Hard of Hearing Australian rules football players with hearing implants on the field. A made media channel for the Colgate brand, with true impact.
Finally, the deaf and hard of hearing community can participate and celebrate in the game, along with everyone else.

That’s the sound of a smile.

Wavemaker, Skin Food, Palmolive

Native ingredients are only available today because First Nations people have nurtured them for thousands of years. Yet, First Nation communities see no real benefit back as they represent less than 2% of the native ingredient supply chain.

In 2023 Palmolive launched a new range of Skin Foods liquid soaps made from indigenous ingredients such as Davidson Plum, Quandong Peach, Lilli Pilli Berry.

For the new range, Palmolive had reshaped the entire supply chain to work with First Nations growers.

This was an opportunity to reshape the media plan too.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represent 3.3% of the Australian population but less than 0.3% of advertising today is invested in media dedicated to reaching these audiences. We decided to take a bold step in our media buying strategy, investing 20% of the total media budget with NITV, one of Australia’s most credible channels that broadcasts programming produced and presented largely by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Through NITV, we shared the stories of three partner First Nations growers. This series explored their profound connection to the land, traditional agricultural practices, and the native Australian ingredients they cultivate. Timed over NAIDOC week (2-9 July), we aired 2-3min branded content pieces in ad-breaks, inviting deeper connection with the Palmolive Skin Food range. Complementing the NITV collaboration, the broader campaign featured the talented indigenous actor and Skin Food enthusiast, Miranda Tapsell across digital platforms.

Native ingredients, sourced by native growers, endorsed by First Nations people and media, to impact First Nations people. This investment served as a tangible demonstration of Palmolive’s genuine commitment to enacting change and empowering Indigenous communities.

The precedent has been set for brands to prioritise inclusivity, making a lasting impact on society from supply chain, through to media. It’s time to think “we, not me”.

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