Three Cheers For The Winners At The B&T Awards 2022! 🎉

Three Cheers For The Winners At The B&T Awards 2022! 🎉

Editor’s Letter

Ever wanted to be part of a world record attempt that didn’t involve hot dog eating or some awful mass line dance? Well, by simply participating in this year’s B&T Awards, you’ve done just that! As we’re declaring a record number of entries for this year’s awards, a record number of nominees and a record number of awards, too. 

If the B&T Awards are a finger on the pulse of Australia’s marketing and advertising industries, then it would appear we’re in tip top shape indeed. 

Scrolling over the coming pages, you’ll see the standout individuals, campaigns and agencies judged to be the very best by their industry peers and, we think you’ll agree, deserved winners to boot. 

On that note, a huge thank you to everyone who entered this year’s awards, our generous judges who are just so giving of their time and, of course, our sponsors who – and I know this can sound a bit cliché – make events like the B&T Awards possible. 

A huge thanks to our chief sponsor and great friend of B&T, YouTube Advertising. And here’s cheers to the other sponsors – DisplayWise, Free 2 Travel, ADIA, Forbes, Boomtown, Samsung Ads, TWITCH, IVE, Scroll Media, Komo Technologies. And our music partner, Audio Network.

On behalf of everyone on the B&T team, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of the title (in all its numerous and many guises) and hopefully things becoming a little more normal over the coming 12 months.

Until we do it all again in 2023… 

Yours, 

John Bastick, B&T Editor

Grand Prix: B&T Agency of the Year

Howatson+Company

With five B&T Awards this year, it should be no surprise that Howatson+Company has scooped the biggest gong going. However, considering the agency is a tender 18 months old, the speed and success of the agency’s growth is remarkable. Thanks to sharp, original work for clients including Matilda Bay which saw the brewer increase sales of genuinely unwanted beer by 2050 per cent in-stores, to an uplifting campaign for Belong focusing on inclusion, Howatson+Company has blown us away with its efforts this year.

The indie agency has combined this work with pioneering staff welfare initiatives and remarkable maternity and parental leave policies that leave staff better off and make the transition back to work easy. Howatson+Company spent $180,000 ensuring its operations are carbon neutral and is looking to reduce Scope 2 and 3 emissions. With 32 clients (and no client losses so far) and a staff of 90, it is remarkable that the agency has been able to grow at 15 per cent month-on-month and generate $21 million in revenue despite still being in its infancy. That 92 per cent of staff would recommend working at Howatson+Company to their friends should not be surprising. Whatever happens next year, Howatson+Company will be some act to follow. 

Best Digital Services

Resolution Digital Australia

Resolution Digital started as a two-person show in a windowless room above Wynyard Station. It is now a full-service agency and manages over $750 million in media billings and boasts a team of 400 across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Resolution Digital’s mission is to drive remarkable results with a personal touch. A client recently wrote a rave review about its experience with Resolution Digital: “As a business, it was important for us to work with a digital agency that was known for delivering results beyond the usual digital metrics.

“We chose Resolution Digital because they understand the complexities required to achieve our business’s key performance objectives (KPOs).” It is more than just a digital agency. In the past year, Resolution Digital has successfully won a host of new business, maintained a 99 per cent client retention rate and onboarded over 140 staff across their offices in Australia. Constantly innovating, Resolution Digital holds a fist full of industry ‘firsts’ and has been awarded Google Agency of the Year three times in a row and Microsoft Agency Partner of the Year. The agency speaks out publicly and frequently about the issues that matter most, including the changing privacy landscape, the rise of retailer media, debunking the MarTech maze, and how to prepare for GA4.

Advertising Agency

Howatson+Company

Howatson+Company says that it exists to make a positive influence on people and culture the world over and through its work, the agency has championed this. Addressing gender inequality, protecting the environment for future generations, supporting local communities near its offices, and reflecting genuine respect for First Nations peoples, Howatson+Company has invested itself into striving towards its primary goal.

The agency creates its work with accessibility in mind as Howatson+Company wants everything it produces to be representative of the Australia it experiences today. By diversifying its revenue streams, the agency puts its people first and invests time and creative services to start-ups and projects it believes in. During its first 18 months, Howatson+Company has onboarded 92 people, welcomed 32 clients and reported month-on-month growth of 15 per cent. With growth flourishing for the agency, it aims to reinvest in its people, rather than sticking to holding company ratios. The agency says it’s on a 30-year journey, and at year one, it’s just getting started.

Branding, Design & CX Agency

BMF

BMF has had one hell of a year. The powerhouse agency has not only turned 25, but it’s also created a new campaign a week, scored 11 new clients, hired 37 new staff members, and tripled the size of its government account all while dealing with the struggles of the global pandemic. But it’s not blind luck that BMF has had such success.

The agency says it’s in the memory business, driving it to create long ideas and build trustworthy brands in the world of short-term thinking. By challenging convention, changing minds and touching hearts, BMF has given back to its clients and achieved its most successful commercial year to date. It hasn’t just been the year BMF turned 25, it’s been the year the agency has doubled down on its guiding principles and values to make its work shine out above the crowd. By making brands memorable with authentic and enduring branding and design work, BMF has displayed its prowess amongst the elites of the Aussie advertising world.

Emerging Agency

Shadowboxer

For an agency so young, Shadowboxer’s commercial success and rise up the adland ladder has made it the agency to look out for. Shadowboxer’s unique business model sees it truly invested in its clients, delivering the outcomes they need, not what they can afford. While this seems risky there’s been enormous pay-off. Shadowboxer has doubled its revenue, quadrupled in size and extracted consistently strong profit margins in every quarter over the past year.

The agency delivers long-term, life-changing value for organisations such as The UN, and enviable success for startups such as Doshii and Greener. With equal wealth creation a driving force behind the agency, Shadowbox provides paid super for the entirety of parental leave and shares profits with its team based on equity and dividends so that as the agency’s wealth grows, so does the wealth of the team. With big plans for 2023 and a presence in three global markets to help bring to life, Shadowboxer is the agency to keep an eye on in the coming years.

 Experiential/Promotional Agency

AKCELO

Founded by a team of best mates around the time the global pandemic was just about to hit, AKCELO blasted into adland at a very strange time for the industry. The agency has capitalised on its explosive start, with a new business win rate of 95 per cent and scoring work with major accounts like McDonald’s, Amart Furniture, Spotify, Tinder, Monash and A-Leagues.

This brand experience and innovation company has fulfilled its one simple desire – to shake up the industry and inspire a generation of new-world agencies to dethrone the big holding companies. With an experimental approach to advertising and a conviction for delivering award-winning work, AKCELO has soared through the pandemic and delivered massive growth. In just its second year of operation AKCELO saw its staff numbers grow 215 per cent, revenue grow 278 per cent and it deliver an average month-on-month growth of 14 per cent to earn itself a reputation as the up-and-coming agency for everyone in adland to keep their eyes on.

Independent Agency – Over 50 Employees

Howatson+Company

Howatson+Company works as an independent agency to make a positive influence on people and culture the world over and through its work, the agency has championed this. By tackling pressing social challenges, protecting the environment for future generations, supporting local communities near its offices, and reflecting genuine respect for First Nations peoples, Howatson+Company has invested itself into striving towards its primary goal.

The agency creates its work with accessibility in mind as Howatson+Company wants everything it produces to be representative of the Australia it experiences today. By diversifying its revenue streams, the agency puts its people first and invests time and creative services to start-ups and projects it believes in. During its first 18 months, Howatson+Company has onboarded 92 people, welcomed 32 clients and reported month-on-month growth of 15 per cent. With growth flourishing for the agency, it aims to reinvest in its people, rather than sticking to holding company ratios. The agency says it’s on a 30-year journey, and at year one, it’s just getting started.

Independent Agency – Under 50 Employees

The Hallway

With one of the year’s most memorable campaigns under its belt, The Hallway has shone in the media space over the past 12 months, tackling pressing social issues as it goes. The Hallway lives by its vision of being “Australia’s most valued communications company” and has found this doesn’t boil down to ROI or eyes on a campaign. By broadening its definition of its vision to encompass the impact the agency has on its clients, people, the broader community and the environment, the agency has thrived in adland.

This is the ongoing journey of constant improvement that The Hallway says will secure it a B Corp certification. With its iconic “Boys Do Cry”campaign rocking adland and the “Banking you can Feel Good About” campaign refreshing Suncorp’s image, The Hallway has shown its incredible depth of skill and creativity. The commercial success achieved by The Hallway over the past year has scored a car account, seen it nab a slew of awards and make a name for itself in the advertising world.

Media Agency

Initiative Australia

Initiative Australia says that 2022 was its Year of the Phoenix. The agency scored $260 million in new and retained pitches, diversified its revenue by 21.4 per cent and reported that 98.6 per cent of its staff were proud to work there. The agency’s success is due in part to its belief that “when you’re leading the world, you have a responsibility to change it.’”

This led Initiative to create several industry-redefining programs, policies and practices alongside continuing to drive record levels of growth. From activating a decades-long industry promise of machine-led automation, funding fertility, spotlighting media catering to neglected audiences and creating an exceptionally deep bank of award-winning work, Initiative has shown why it’s up there with the best media has to offer. Initiative Australia open sourced all of its strategies that got it to where it is to create the change that’s needed to bring others along with the agency. This is how Initiative has achieved its Year of the Phoenix and soared in the media industry.

NSW Agency

Howatson+Company

This up-and-coming agency says that it exists to make a positive influence on people and culture the world over and through its work, Howatson+Company has championed this. The agency has made a name for itself by addressing gender inequality, protecting the environment for future generations, supporting local communities near its offices, and reflecting genuine respect for First Nations peoples, guiding the agency in its path towards its primary goal.

The agency creates its work with accessibility in mind as Howatson+Company wants everything it produces to be representative of the Australia it experiences today. By diversifying its revenue streams, the agency puts its people first and invests time and creative services to start-ups and projects it believes in. During its first 18 months, Howatson+Company has onboarded 92 people, welcomed 32 clients and reported month-on-month growth of 15 per cent. With growth flourishing for the agency, it aims to reinvest in its people, rather than sticking to holding company ratios. The agency says it’s on a 30-year journey, and at year one, it’s just getting started.

Performance Agency

Alley

Performance agencies need to drive results for clients above all else and Alley, which retains its award from last year, has certainly done so over the last twelve months. In campaigns for brands as varied as Tinder and Reece Bathrooms, Alley was able to take difficult challenges on head-first, delivering impressive results across the board, tapping new audiences, and driving sales. While the agency says that its average client doubles its revenue and profit from its campaigns, Reece Bathrooms saw a more than 600 per cent e-commerce revenue boost with return on ad spend hitting 262 per cent.

In-store visits, meanwhile, grew by more than 200 per cent and trade leads ballooned by 908 per cent. Its work for Tinder, on the other hand, focused less on sales and more on brand favourability. Again, Alley delivered. Through its Big Rainbow campaign which leveraged influencers, social partnerships, and audio streaming, Alley boosted Tinder’s brand favourability by more than four times. Alley’s mission statement has always maintained that “when you spend money on marketing, you need to make money on marketing.” With its diverse team (65 per cent BIPOC and 62 per cent female) it is certainly practicing what it preaches.

PR Agency

Thrive PR

Last year, Thrive enjoyed its most successful year ever.

Campaign highlights included the Bluey House on Airbnb, a world-first LEGO® Formula 1 car build and the announcement of SPC’s vaccine mandate. This success will continue thanks to many new clients appointing Thrive over the past 12 months, including MG Motors, Harley-Davidson and Blackmores Group.

Recently, Thrive has spearheaded a movement to add PR as a skill of permanent residency; launching Thrive Tech Academy to upskill PR professionals industry-wide and pioneering ‘PR Jobs of the Future’ where global talent can choose to work in any of Thrive’s offices with accommodation and travel support.

Thrive achieved these successes while putting the well-being of its people first. Thrive was the first company in Australia to introduce ten extra days of Domestic Violence leave for all staff; introduced initiatives like a paid Wellness Day off; the option to work from anywhere in the world for up to a month, and 12 days’ paid childcare for working parents.

As an independent, fully female-owned and led agency, Thrive lives by the mantra of being “limited by nothing”. No holding group, no red tape, and no limits to what PR can achieve. With a track record like that, Thrive certainly lives up to its name.

Production Company

FINCH

In a world wrangling with some of the most serious challenges we’ve ever faced, FINCH has been able to give voices to voiceless and put illuminate the struggles they face. Working for NRMA to connect the insurers purpose and belief with a collective experience, FINCH produced A Fire Inside, a feature-length documentary as the spearhead of a broader campaign to spark a national conversation and drive change. Following the Australian Resilience Corps, the nation’s largest volunteer organisation before, during, and after the Black Summer fires.

The film premiered at the Sydney Film Festival before releasing in 138 cinemas across Australia. It went on to become the number one documentary on 9NOW last summer. Work for UNICEF, UN Women Australia, and the UNHCR only added to the company’s affecting and impact-driving campaigns. However, work for Tourism NZ, Uber Eats, and Tourism Australia proved that FINCH has a fun side, too, while still driving results for its clients. In fact, in the first quarter of this year FINCH won 15 pitches in a row — a company first — retained 97 per cent of its clients while growing its revenue and profit margin by 20 per cent.

QLD/Other States and Territories/NZ Agency

Special

On the back of its best-ever year last time out, Special was B&T’s Grand Prix winner. Somehow, in 2022, the agency has managed to best itself again recording a 29 per cent boost in revenue, profits increasing by more than a third, and growing its headcount by 21 per cent. Of course, it wasn’t all a numbers game for Special. Special won a Gold Lion at Cannes and a One Show ‘Best in Discipline’ pencil — only the second pencil to be awarded to a Kiwi agency.

Special also won New Zealand’s first-ever Global Effie. Despite New Zealand only fully reopening from COVID restrictions last month, Special managed to open offices on two different hemispheres. Special London and Wellington join the company’s existing offices in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles. That global reach has not detracted from Special’s Kiwi heritage, however. This year, the company launched Special Aotea, a culturally-led creative, strategic, and business rōpū (Maori for group or collective) within the agency designed to authentically represent Te Ao Māori (the interconnectedness of all living and non-living things) in its people, work, and the next generation.

Research Agency

Fiftyfive5

For Fiftyfive5, 2022 has been a year of significant business wins and impressive results for its clients. The agency grew its revenue by 39 per cent, while gross profit increased by four per cent. Plus, in some of the most difficult labour market conditions in memory, Fiftyfive5 managed to bring 44 new employees onboard.

Those extra staff helped Fiftyfive5 remain Australia’s largest independent research agency and allowed it to bring on 119 new clients this year, including 7-Eleven and Amazon. However, don’t think that Fiftyfive5 is churning clients. In fact, 19 of its first 21 clients from 2010 are still with the agency.

Fiftyfive5 was particularly successful in its work for Uber Eats this year. As the growth of its “Tonight, I’ll Be Eating” platform slowed, Fiftyfive5 helped reinvigorate the campaign identifying new growth opportunities which helped deliver a 400 per cent return on investment, a five per cent uplift in basket size, and 28 million incremental orders during the campaign.

Shopper Marketing Agency of the Year

31ST:SECOND

With more channels than ever, shopper marketing is becoming increasingly complex. However, 31st, with its omnichannel approach has ridden the wave of disruption caused by COVID to deliver results for clients, bring new ones on board, and grow its business. The agency’s turnover grew to more than $7 million, while revenue jumped by 39 per cent. What’s more, 31st brought on huge clients being appointed the exclusive shopper agency for the Campari Portfolio of Brands and the Sanitarium Portfolio of Brands.

What’s more, these new clients, along with LEGO, Bega, and Taylors Wines are locked in until 2023/4. However, it’s not all cold, hard cash and client wins that make 31st our Shopper Marketing Agency of the Year. It has also doubled-down on its impressive workplace culture. Nine-to-five days are a thing of the past with all staff able to work from home as required and even knock off early on Friday with no clock-watching managers asking questions. Plus, with 73 per cent of the team being women and 65 per cent coming from diverse cultural backgrounds, 31st has built an ideal team to help get Aussie shoppers over the line for the clients.

VIC Agency

The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song

The Monkeys manage to keep its hands on B&T’s Victoria Agency of the Year Award having expanded to a new office, brought on three new clients, and won 13 awards. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing. Supercheap Auto, long-time sponsor of the Bathurst 1000 lost out to its major rival Repco.

As a result, The Monkeys had to think creatively about making sure that its client would get noticed on the biggest weekend of motorsport in Australia without being able to officially advertise. Some creative bumping of heads in the office saw the team land on the 1000 Bathursts campaign. By highlighting local businesses and community clubs, the Monkeys got Australia talking with 2.4 million online views and 457,000 online engagements in less than a week.

Innovative campaigns for Impossible Burgers, Australia Post, and Amazon amongst others, along with a remarkably low staff turnover of 10 per cent, make The Monkeys out Victoria Agency of the Year.

BEST CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY

M&C SAATCHI, Thrive by Five

M&C Saatchi have found a way to deliver an old message in a new way. The importance of early childhood development is not new news; for decades, UNICEF along with medical and scientific bodies have shared the neuroscience that backs it. However, the message rarely cuts through to the public because doctors and scientists traditionally communicate it in complicated terms. M&C Saatchi brilliantly realised they needed to find a way to make people understand this vital truth.

So, they went back to basics and created the world’s first neuroscience TED Talk given by a seven-year-old. For over seven minutes, Molly, now one of the youngest people ever to give a TED talk, presented facts, experiments and scientifically proven “serve and return games” in a way even the most exhausted parent could follow and action.

The simplicity of the campaign created a complete cut-through effect. The campaign was translated into 27 languages, published in 190 markets, has amassed over 23 million streams and shared over 340,000 times, generating a potential global reach of over 1.3 billion. M&C Saatchi secured 500 media mentions, including interviews with Molly on CNN and Goo. It has been such a success it has even been turned into a podcast.

DATA-DRIVEN MARKETING

THINK HQ, Speak Their Language

By September 2021, Victorians had been through a challenging 18 months of rolling lockdowns and evolving public health measures due to COVID. Think HQ knew they needed a path out with anxiety and disconnection rising and commercial confidence dropping. The equation was straightforward – 80 per cent of the population would need to be vaccinated to unlock the freedom everyone craved, which called for a collective effort on a rarely seen scale.

Every Victorian must understand the risks and benefits to them, their families and their broader community. Think HQ worked with the Victorian government to identify those they could reach and build a program of communication activity to get them onboard and vaccinated. Led by data, they identified the audiences left behind by vaccination messaging. They then tested and developed the content that had the best chance of convincing those audiences to get vaccinated.

Think HQ reached hesitant and hard-to-reach audiences with the correct information via the networks, social channels, content and first-hand knowledge of ambassador organisations. These groups had the trust, confidence, authority and attention of the public, where The Department did not. It was an unprecedented challenge for an unprecedented time. But with an approach never seen before, that’s what the Victorian Government and Think HQ delivered.

MARKETING TEAM OF THE YEAR

BIG W

The marketing team at BIG W had a big challenge to address during the pandemic. How would they navigate the worsening COVID period and work together to get this done? Neither of these tasks were small, but BIG W’s purpose and team values were instrumental in uniting marketing to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. While COVID was throwing unprecedented issues at BIG W, affecting its customers and business alike, the team knew its brand platform “Value Every Day” was never more true if it was going to make a real difference to families.

The BIG W team introduced agile working to help manage workflow; overhauled its diaries and implemented a series of non-working sessions to connect in a playful way, resulting in a five per cent increase in team advocacy. The team lobbied the government to partially open its stores. This allowed customers to access everyday items, create special digital events, entertain the kids via the “The Big-Headed Bilby” and helped families recycle their pre-loved toys. From this, BIG W’s brand advocacy jumped 20 per cent and the team found more ways to support Aussie families, bringing them out of the pandemic shining.

MARKETING TECHNOLOGY COMPANY OF THE YEAR

THE TRADE DESK

The wide world of martech boasts a plethora of outstanding agencies, but The Trade Desk (TTD) truly shines in the industry. TTD is paving the way for the future of media, with the mission to make digital advertising better across the open, independent Internet. This independent agency is a demand-side platform that aims to partner with everyone in digital media in an objective way.

TTD delivered outstanding growth by safely navigating the ongoing uncertainty, continuing to innovate, safeguard its people, and deliver new opportunities in the market, creating a multitude of new jobs and up-skilling more than 1000 people through their educational initiatives to deliver opportunities for the entire industry.

In ANZ, TTD has always had a unique style. The agency doesn’t silo those who are selling from those who are creating and building the product, instead, TTD creates a larger team where it works together.

Best CTV Campaign

Finecast

MediaCom x Finecast

Campaign: Dell Consumer

Finecast partnered with Dell, one of MediaCom’s top clients, to reposition their consumer brand as a leader in a highly competitive Australian market heavily dominated by a close competitor. Dell’s primary audience – “people who have a high propensity to purchase premium devices” – were broadly identified as young, high-income Aussies. Research indicated that its competitor had gained a foothold with this audience in Australia. MediaCom developed two key audience archetypes: “Digital Affluents” (DAF) and “Young Upcoming” (YUC), based on their attributes and attitudes towards technology.

The strategic objective of MediaCom was to help the brand grow revenue and direct sales. In partnering with Finecast’s addressable TV solution, MediaCom effectively demonstrated that combining audience data and targeting its DAF and YUC segments with high-quality broadcast environments on a connected television drives both long-term value and short-term results. The campaign was activated programmatically, using Finecast’s deterministic viewer login data to ensure maximum accuracy delivering the highest quality addressable activation across the entire Australian BVOD ecosystem on connected TV.  

Best Digital Campaign

M&C Saatchi Group

Thrive by Five

M&C Saatchi found a remarkable way to deliver an old message in a new way. The importance of early childhood development is not new news; for decades UNICEF and medical and scientific bodies have been sharing the neuroscience that backs it. However, the message rarely cuts through because it’s traditionally shared by doctors and scientists in complicated terms.

M&C Saatchi brilliantly realised it needed to find a way to make people understand it. So, the agency went back to basics and created the world’s first neuroscience TED Talk given by a seven-year-old. For over seven minutes, Molly, now one of the youngest people ever to give a TED talk, presented facts, experiments and scientifically proven ‘serve and return games’ any parent can action, in a way even exhausted parents could follow. The simplicity of the campaign created a complete cut-through effect. 

Best Media Campaign

Special

Campaign: Motor Neurone Disease NZ David’s Unusables

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a devastating disease and New Zealand has one of the world’s highest mortality rates from it. Special was tasked with increasing the awareness and understanding of MND in New Zealand on a limited budget. The agency’s biggest challenge was getting the public to understand the debilitating nature of the disease if they hadn’t experienced it themselves.

Special took ‘put yourself in their shoes’ literally and simulated the experience of MND by creating ‘David’s Unusables’. The media-led idea digitally charted the ‘real-life’ decline of David Seymour by selling items he could no longer use on New Zealand’s leading e-marketplace, Trade Me. By unexpectedly combining forces with one of the largest e-comm platforms to make MND more relatable to everyone, Special was able to create a campaign that just didn’t raise awareness but educated Kiwis. 

Best Media Platform

Seven

Over the past year, Channel 7 has led the field and dominated the media landscape as never before.

No other media platform experienced as much revenue and consumption growth as Channel 7, and no other platform invested as heavily in transformative new technologies that benefited viewers and advertisers.

The past twelve months have seen Channel 7 achieve truly spectacular and record-breaking results, leading to it being crowned Australia’s Fastest Growing Brand by Brand Finance Australia in January 2022.

Channel 7 dominated across the board, garnering “number one” superlatives with the likes of “Program of the Year” for the AFL Grand Final, “Regular Series” for The Voice, “Local Drama” for Home and Away, and “Lifestyle “Program” for Better Homes and Gardens, just to name a few.

Channel 7 also saw a record-breaking 21 million watch its presentation of the Tokyo Olympics. And more than half the 20 most-watched TV shows were on the platform (including four of the top five). Enough said!

Best Out of Home Campaign

Thinkerbell

FURPHY WHAT THE TRUCK

Thinkerbell was tasked with launching Furphy’s new Crisp Lager. However, considering the Australian beer industry is well and truly saturated, Thinkerbell needed to do something unbelievable to stand out in a bustling market and get people to sample Furphy’s easy-drinking beer. To combat the sea of sameness and pique beer-drinkers’ attention, Furphy devised a plan to create an unbelievable visual Furphy of its own.

The plan was to use 7.8-tonne Furphy Crisp Lager’-branded truck turned on its back and wedged between two buildings in Sydney’s CBD. With help from internationally celebrated installation artist James Dive, the truck’s design certainly made people stop and stare.

Images of the billboard-in-disguise went viral within hours. Commenters and news publications had their own take on the story, speculating it could be a glitch in the simulation, the brilliant work of Banksy or the driver just having the absolute worst day. With its reach and engagement across social and PR, Furphy’s beer-truck billboard took Crisp Lager from unknown to the most talked about beer in the country.

Best PR Campaign

Special

Campaign: Motor Neurone Disease NZ David’s Unusables

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a devastating disease, and New Zealand has one of the world’s highest mortality rates from it. Special were tasked with increasing the awareness and understanding of MND in New Zealand on a limited budget. Their biggest challenge was getting the public to understand the debilitating nature of the disease if they hadn’t experienced it themselves. Special took ‘put yourself in their shoes’ literally and simulated the experience of MND by creating ‘David’s Unusables’.

The media-led idea digitally charted the ‘real-life’ decline of David Seymour by selling items he could no longer use on New Zealand’s leading e-marketplace, Trade Me. By unexpectedly combining forces with one of the largest e-comm platforms to make MND more relatable to everyone, Special was able to educate New Zealand and capture nationwide PR attention in the process.

Best Radio/Audio Campaign

Host / Havas

Crime Interrupted

Keeping a step ahead of serious crime requires a range of diverse skill sets but The Australian Federal Police (AFP) struggled to recruit such candidates for these roles. Host/Havas rejected traditional recruitment comms, which audiences were tuning out of, and met them where they were tuning in – true crime podcasts. Partnering with the team from Australia’s top true crime podcaster, Casefile Presents, Host/Havas turned the AFP’s recruitment messages into a six-part true crime podcast called ‘Crime Interrupted’.

Each episode delved into a particular crime and, through an intriguing narrative, showed the scope of professions required to stop them. The podcast created resonating entertainment in a compelling format, designed to pull listeners in rather than forcefully pushing into their lives. It was ultimately the AFP’s most successful campaign in history. 

Best Regional Media Campaign

Howatson+Company

Campaign: Belong Regional

In 2017, Optus announced a strategy to invest more than one billion dollars in regional Australia and increased its media spend in 2020 and 2021 to match Telstra. It was a significant move that challenged Telstra’s network superiority and market share. Belong, Telsta’s value brand, had not traditionally invested with sustained significance in regional markets and consequentially struggled with a low share of voice and market.

Howatson+Company’s challenge was to take on Optus to win back mobile market share for Belong and Telstra. To provoke regional Australians to switch, Howatson+Company created a bespoke data set to identify market opportunities, addressable audiences, and channels of purchase influence, a comparative creative message and sustained excess share of voice. The result for the Belong brand was increased brand awareness, consideration, and sales that beat all expectations.

Best TV Campaign

72andSunny ANZ

Google x AFL: Helping you help them

72andSunny took on a brief of using Google’s sponsorship of the AFL and AFLW to build positive sentiment and brand health for the Google brand. It knew emotional storytelling and TV centred on helpfulness would be essential. 72andSunny found that participation with AFL is what allows communities and families to thrive. However, playing a support role for family members participating in the AFL can be challenging. Who do people turn to when they need help? Google. Helping you help them is a long-term platform idea to bring to life the power of Google as a tool for everyday moments to help your family, friends, and community.

In the 2021 season, 72andSunny told the story of an immigrant father who, via Google, teaches himself all the things he needs to support his daughter’s football passion. In the 2022 season, it told the story of a granddaughter who uses Google to discover ways to reconnect with her Nan, who has dementia, through their shared love of AFLW. With a single-minded focus on culturally relevant, emotional story-telling, 72andSunny ANZ drove the highest brand uplifts for Google globally and the best-in-class case study for AFL activation.

Best Use of Social Media

WiredCo. (formerly The Wired Agency)

PIZZAS FOR PODIUMS

For Gen Z, there’s something magnetic about the Olympics, with 81 per cent claiming to be interested in the Games. The appeal makes sense, given that their athletic peers have emerged as global well-being leaders and advocates. For any brand brave enough to grab a slice of the Olympic action without paying a hefty fee to the International Olympic Committee, there can be Olympic-sized consequences, both financial and reputational, if one was to break the IOC’s “ironclad” rules.

The idea behind WiredCo.’s “Pizzas for Podiums” campaign for Pizza Hut was simple: the more medals Australia won, the more pizzas they gave away in real-time on social media. Did the Australian Olympic Committee complain? They sure did! Did WiredCo. listen? No, sir! WiredCo. didn’t pay a cent for daring to digitally hack one of the most significant events on Earth with their Pizza Hut’s chief executive officer, Phil Reed, declared it “the most successful campaign in Pizza Hut’s 50-year history.” Today, Pizza Hut enjoys the fastest-growing QSR position for 40 consecutive months. 

Best Use of Sponsorship

CHEP Network

Performance Enhancing Music

As sponsors of the Olympics, CHEP Network didn’t want to talk about Samsung’s mission to create human-driven innovations that defy barriers to progress; they set out to live it. CHEP gave Olympians an edge over their competitors by leveraging something already used by athletes across the globe – music. They created personalised tracks, each scientifically proven to enhance performance. They tested and fine-tuned 13 audio triggers, including isochronic tones, personal mantras, cadence, and more. Finally, it brought the tracks to life through their favourite Australian artist.

The Olympic Athletes could use their tracks to prepare and compete in Tokyo as the world listened along on Spotify through a branded playlist supported by video and audio platform takeovers. CHEP launched the campaign, which concluded at the end of the Paralympic games, with key assets; the Performance Enhancing Music tracks and a documentary film found on YouTube and supported by cutdowns across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SNAP and YouTube. It set up OOH street posters during the Olympics and connected with younger audiences through a custom-built AR SNAP AR lens, allowing customers to create their performance-enhancing music.

Best Use of Tech

HERO

Victoria Police x HERO

Campaign: Victoria Police, Senior Constable Laurie Fox

Victoria Police has lost 20 officers to suicide since 2012, one of the highest rates of workplace suicide in the state. It was a situation that called for an unprecedented response. To understand the scale of the issue, HERO conducted many one-on-one interviews and focus groups with different members across Victoria Police. One specific objective for their work was to get at least half of the Victoria Police members to engage with the anonymous Bluespace website, an online site purpose-built to provide professional mental health support. To reach and positively impact this audience, the agency needed to develop and deliver a message in a way members couldn’t possibly ignore.

Senior Constable Laurie Fox took his own life on New Year’s Eve, 2012. Eight years later, HERO brought Fox back using Deep Fake Technology to share a peer-to-peer message broadcast directly to every officer on the Victoria Police force. The memo encouraged officers to seek anonymous support from trained counsellors at the newly launched Bluespace website. The film saw Bluespace increase site traffic by 350 per cent. Nearly 80 per cent of the organisation visited the site post-viewing. The average engagement time was six minutes; showing officers weren’t simply clicking through but watching the video and engaging with support materials. 

Best YouTube Campaign of the Year

Vidico

Incredible Glasses, Incredibly Affordable For Every Aussie Face

Campaign: Bailey Nelson: Incredible Glasses For Every Aussie Face

Vidico teamed up with Aussie-eyewear brand Bailey Nelson to develop its first defining brand statement using a delightfully colourful video. Vidico wanted to get on the radar of the Australian public and obtain recall, so playing safe wasn’t an option.

The competition is solid and hard to differentiate, so the real opportunity was creating a strong brand story that showed Bailey Nelson’s unique personality. Vidico developed a straightforward concept with a mix of elements – an excellent tension point to kick-off and capture attention, funny examples of the Bailey Nelson product in use to show its place in customers’ lives, plus a way to sledge competitors. A presenter format led the story to walk viewers through the so-wrong-but-common journey of buying glasses. Transitions, shape cut-outs, and masks engage viewers, and emphasise unique selling points.

Thanks to the ability to shoot long-form, the campaign included five consideration and conversion cutdowns plus the suite of statics for display, ensuring the whole funnel was a priority. Ultimately, the brand campaign obtained a 40 per cent increase in branded search, with YouTube describing the result as “best-in-class”. 

 




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