October 15, 2010

Week of tweets #19

Here is another round up of my recent tweets/retweets that I think deserve a second showing…

Great article. RT @graemewood: Not digital vs traditional, but awesome vs crap: “Post-Digital or Die” – by @W2Optimism http://bit.ly/9vJbz5

  • Most articles being written right now either talk about “transmedia storytelling” or “post-digital”. This blog post from Wieden + Kennedy falls into the later category and is definitely one to read.

Contextual isn’t always clever… RT @mediaczar: Display Ad nightmares (aargh! My eyes!) http://mczar.me/adPqOE

  • I have to admit that one of my own ad placement disasters has done the rounds but is not in this cringe-worthy collection (luckily).

UNIQLO win big at the Spikes Asia Advertising Festival in Singapore – Grand Prix for Lucky Switch http://bit.ly/d3RT0d

  • Too often we focus on awards at Cannes, New York and London when there are many other great award festivals around the world. Spikes Asia is one of them.

Apple, are you watching? RT @fwa: Demo of Flash on the Samsung Galaxy Tab – http://bit.ly/9kPTw3 – looking VERY impressive

  • My wife already wants one. Will it be as popular as the iPad? Well it’s also a phone so maybe…

IDEO: Why Would You Trade Away Your Online Privacy? 6 Case Studies on Fast Company… http://tinyurl.com/36ywfdb

  • You have to admire IDEO for their thoughtful approach to all design challenges and (in this case) the motives behind end-user behaviour.

Inspired by print… RT @Patou_N: A very interesting read – How Flipboard Was Created & its Plans Beyond iPad:http://cot.ag/agq3TM

  • When I get my iPad this will be one of the first apps I try. In this article Mike Cue talks about the inspiration behind Flipboard. “We decided to do a thought experiment: imagine if the Web was washed away and we needed to build a new one from scratch.”

Interesting…RT @Patou_N: Digital Life, the most comprehensive study of the global digital consumer, ever. Coming soon http://bit.ly/dhlpy6

  • This new tool from TNS is going to be very useful to a lot of people. To quote their website…”Utilising cutting edge techniques and taking advantage of market-leading expertise, Digital Life offers both a lens on the digital world and the frameworks required to make actionable business decisions within it. It can be used to drive global strategies or inform local tactics”.

Inspiring… RT @gleonhard: An absolutely great collection of examples (videos): the creative internet (106 things)http://ht.ly/2S8OA

  • Some of the examples shown are a bit old but there is enough new and inspiring work to keep you clicking…

and finally… the usual piece of stupidity to end my week of tweets:

Boom… RT @fastcompany: After Exploding Kids Ad Sony Drops Out Of @1010 Climate Change Campaignhttp://bit.ly/ds30eC

  • Didn’t anyone think for a just a minute that this was soooooo wrong?


October 5, 2010

Captain Lebowitz

The third in my series profiling digital leaders features the unstoppable Michael Lebowitz, founder and CEO of Big Spaceship. For over 10 years he has guided the company to greatness while exploring places where no-one has gone before. OK, enough of the Star Trek language. Let’s take a look at the man himself to see what makes him such a great captain. Let’s start with a short video…

Here are a few facts. Since launching the agency in 2000, he has been integral in acquiring and serving its high profile clients, including 20th Century Fox, ABC, Adobe, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Google, Gucci, HBO, Microsoft, MoMA, NBC Universal, Nike, Royal Caribbean, Sony Pictures, Target, Victoria’s Secret and Wrigley. His profile on the site goes on to say that over the past decade, Michael has led Big Spaceship to attain countless awards of high distinction. This includes a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for the agency’s work with HBO Voyeur, Cannes Lions, Clios and One Show Interactive Pencils, as well as numerous Webby, FWA, Communication Arts, W3 and Pixel Awards. Michael was also named among the 2010 Creativity 50 and the 2008 OMMA Online All-Stars.

It doesn’t end there as he is also an inaugural board member of SoDA, the Society of Digital Agencies, he’s a member of AIGA’s Visionary Design Council and the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Not forgetting all his other activities such as speaking, judging and more. It’s amazing that he gets to spend any time at the agency.

Clearly Michael does find the time as they recently won their 50th FWA award for Skittles Experience the Rainbow. In this interview for FWA, as well as saying that he works 50 to 60 hours a week, he says that he finds his inspiration everywhere. He goes on to say “I read dozens of blogs, watch a fair amount of TV, read books and magazines, and try to see movies, though it’s become difficult since my son arrived earlier this year. I also get tremendous inspiration from my co-workers at the spaceship and my friends at other agencies. We’re very fortunate to work in an area of the industry that has such a high level of intelligence and curiosity”. What’s interesting is that at Big Spaceship nobody has the word “creative” in their title as they believe that everybody and no one is creative. In this AdAge article Michael credits the team system in helping to create a culture of cross-pollinated talents. “If all the designers sit together, you get a culture of departments. And departments, in my mind, lead to fractiousness,” he says.

Time for another video, this time from Linda.com where we get an “intimate look at the inner workings of one of the web’s most innovative firms”.

In an interview with Agency Spy we get further insights into how Lebowitz thinks. To quote the article, “strategy, production, design, development are some of the keywords Lebowitz used to describe what his company does. His job is to contextualize, to facilitate communication and does so by participating in nearly every project”. But, he says, without micromanaging his “superstars.” When he started out there was a “big realisation” that the bigger agencies were producing terrible work yet there was brilliant people working there. “The bigger the company”, he said, “the harder it is to consistently take on work that keeps everyone happy, and produce work that’s top quality”. “Never repeat yourself”, says Lebowitz, “referring both to the type of jobs taken on and their execution”. Read the full article here.

HBO Voyeur has to be one of Big Spaceship’s crowning achievements winning awards across the globe from a gold Cyber Lion to gold Clios. Yet after winning big Michael Lebowitz (as reported in on the CREATIVITY website) “famously chided BBDO (and Cannes) for what he felt was Spaceship’s slight in the awards draw for its work on the HBO “Voyeur” campaign, he went on to criticize the current digital vs. agency divide”. Also in Creativity he wrote: “Digital agencies are pushing for (and, in my opinion, deserve) greater ownership of the overall consumer experience.”

In the end Michael believes that it’s “all fun and games” as we see from this article on Apple. To quote the article, “we’ve earned a reputation for innovation, so we get to do incredibly fun stuff for great brands,” he says. “We’re not a traditional graphic design company — we’re always thinking about new ways to engage with people.” The article finishes by saying that they have succeeded because they make interactive marketing fun. “We like making people laugh, and we like making people scared,” says Lebowitz. “Evoking emotion is high on the list. And we love the ‘aha’ moment. If you can make somebody say, ‘Oh! I’ve never seen anything like this before,’ or ‘I wasn’t expecting that.’ We thrive on that. That’s the best kind of impact we can have.”

Follow Big Spaceship on Twitter.

Read my other profiles of: Lars Bastholm and Tom Eslinger

September 30, 2010

A story worth telling

Great presentation from Polle de Maagt of agency Boondoggle that shows (with a little help from a baby elephant) how transmedia storytelling is simply about creating stuff worth sharing…
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September 26, 2010

Week of tweets #18

It’s been a busy few weeks what with quitting my job and getting things prepared for my move to China. The biggest worry was that Twitter is blocked there but I heard that through a VPN I can still keep tweeting. So expect my regular summary of my favourite tweets to continue…

Money for nothing? NYTimes: Marketing Fanciful Items in the Lands of Make Believe http://nyti.ms/9IoCCY

  • Amazing how easily people will part with their money. In this article we see how big brands are jumping onboard the money train too. For example, “Volvo Cars of North America, the clothing retailer H&M and MTV Networks are among the diverse brands entering the market for virtual goods — the make-believe items offered on social-networking games, smartphone apps or fantasy Internet sites”.

Thoughts on branded utility… RT @loopdiloop: RT @IATV: “The Digital Evolution of Branding” http://bit.ly/dqBn3m

  • Fascinating article by Nicole Armstrong showing how brands are bringing value to consumers by extending their experience and providing a “meaningful utility that is there for the customer when they need it most”.

Cool. RT @thinktank_int: Nike’s Destroyer Burrito – good example of integrating digital & experiential to create buzzhttp://bit.ly/ccJraN

Cheers! iPad menus sell more wine… NYTimes: Choosing Wines at the Touch of a Screen http://nyti.ms/ajHAXQ

  • It could be just a short term gimmick or lead to a whole new line of low cost tablets. Right now it is certainly helping business.

Looking good… RT @adenhepburn: New Digital Buzz Post: Video: Meet The New Twitter.com http://bit.ly/aOEiUd

  • This could spell bad news for the likes of Tweetdeck but shows how Twitter has big plans to make their service more useful and intuitive for everyone.

Shame on us all 🙂 RT @nakedstudios: The Digital Agencies of the Future! http://bit.ly/btzbx0

  • This made me laugh so much. Even digital agencies have yet to wake up to the fact that people might be viewing their sites on devices not supporting Flash. See the whole wall of shame here.

Nice… RT @BBHLabs: Liked: Google Creative Lab’s Ji Lee on ‘The Transformative Power of Personal Projects’http://j.mp/cQ4P43

  • OK, so most of us would say that we’re too busy with work to develop personal projects like this one. But it’s amazing where they might take you…

Wow! RT @BBHLabs: Old Record Player + Stop Motion + Lights + Tron Legacy Soundtrack = Awesome –http://j.mp/9NTEiT

Kim Pimmel uses old-school techniques to create something futuristic and surreal. See it in HD here.

RT @LarryTolpin: The Future of Ad Agencies – Incredible for New Hybrid Agencies – Not So Good for for Old Agencies –http://bit.ly/93NiZg

  • There is so much being written right now about which breed of agency is going to survive when all others fade to black. Edward Boches always has a well-balanced view.

Finally, something to make you smile as autumn bites (if you’re in the same hemisphere as me). I’ve tweeted about both of these in the past couple of weeks and each could actually be a new ad for Ikea. One features dogs and the other cats. I know which one I’d prefer to be for IKEA. Enjoy…



September 25, 2010

Should advertising be abolished?

So here we are, the final chapter of David Ogilvy’s book “Confessions of an Advertising Man”. The book that inspired this blog finishes with this dramatic question – Should advertising be abolished? Ogilvy quotes Churchill who said “Advertising nourishes the consuming power of men. It sets up before a man the goal of a better home, better clothing, better food for himself and his family”. A rather patronising view but spot on in a post-war era when the economy needed to grow. Yet at the time of writing the book (the early 60s) the debate was raging about the value of advertising.

Fast forward forty years and in the digital world we now live in the debate continues… but today the backlash against advertising comes from consumers who now have personal control to ban advertising themselves. From ad skipping Tivo to pop-up blockers through to spam filters – people have multiple ways to avoid being advertised to. Now we are facing a situation where our audience is no longer captive but rather it is brands that are held hostage by consumers who demand more than being told that they should buy a product to have a better life. Marketers are now forced to find new ways to reach the people who potentially could buy the product. When any negative experiences with a product can be posted online brands are being held accountable more than ever before.

Interestingly David Ogilvy showed in his book how advertising has always been a force for sustaining standards of quality and service. When his agency started advertising KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as “punctual” and “reliable”, their top management told their staff that they had to live up to the promise of their advertising. Today we see campaigns like the Domino Pizza Turnaround that allow consumers a window into their operations and shout their new values from the computer screen. Power to the people.

Ogilvy believed that TV was the most potent advertising medium ever devised but he would pay for the privilege of watching it without “commercial interruptions”. Times have changed but they stay the same. Online people enjoy free media with online news and entertainment content but hate animated ads that cover the page they are looking at. No doubt David Ogilvy would have loved Tivo allowing him to skip all the ads. Online advertisers have learned quickly that consumers will ignore their messages so have developed more engaging ways to attract attention. Branded content rewards people for their time. iAds promise to deliver a richer experience. Advergames entertain you hoping that next time you want to buy a bag of chips that you’ll choose their brand. When you want to launch a new movie a trailer just isn’t enough any more. You need to draw people into the world of the movie through transmedia “experiences”  like the multi-screen campaign that was executed for the Avatar movie across Xbox and MSN.

Ogilvy finishes by saying that advertising should not be abolished (of course) but it must be reformed. No doubt he’d be alarmed and fascinated by the digital world of today where reform is being enforced by consumer behavior. Truth and lies about brands and products are revealed by the verbal few and received by the masses on social networks, blogs and Twitter. Ultimately commerce needs communication. Brands need fans that act rather than just “like” (as pointed out in this article by Simon Mainwaring). Digital spells the end of advertising as we know it. Ads that talk at you are definitely banned. Campaigns that connect with customers in a meaningful way, that bring people together with a common brand affiliation and ultimately result in sales… that’s the kind of advertising that rings in a new way of thinking.

So I come to the end of Ogilvy’s book and as I close it I’m also on the verge of a new chapter myself. At the end of October I leave Ogilvy to take up an exciting new challenge in China where I hope to continue the digital adventure in a market where online and mobile brand communication is still relatively new. I’ll be posting my future confessions of a digital adman from a totally different perspective. It’s going to be a blast.

September 17, 2010

Rise and Fall of the (digital) Adman?

Last night I watched a fascinating BBC documentary called “The Rise and Fall of the Ad Man” which, as described by the BBC, was an “insightful and witty look at the changing fortunes of British advertising with the story of the personalities who led it through its highs and lows”. It was quite timely since the Saatchis are busy celebrating their 40 years in the business and, in many ways, the story being told in the documentary seemed to reflect what is happening now with the digital revolution in advertising.

The 60s advertising scene was a backlash to the 50’s style of advertising which was run by ex-army majors where creativity took second place. Alan Parker is best known as a film director but he started out at one of the 60s and 70s leading London agencies Collett Dickenson Pearce & Partners. In the documentary he talked about the emergence of the colour suppliments of 60s which allowed ad agencies to escape from the small black & white ad in the bottom corner of a newspaper to full page glossy spreads which could now be as interesting as the content of the magazine itself. Hasn’t the web provided a creative escape for a new generation of advertising people bored with the 30 second TV ad or print advertising?

Also appearing was Frank Lowe who, talking about the 60s, said that the new generation understood TV and created ads that were often more creative than tv shows. Once again, we are seeing something similar online with branded content being a destination in itself rather than being pure advertising. We have our own new generation of creative people doing some amazing work in digital branded experiences.

Fay Wheldon is better known as an author but was a copywriter in during the boom years of advertising. She said that customers knew they being sold to but just needed to feel good about it. Not much different from today’s social media campaigns where customers become fans of brands.

One interesting comment in the documentary was about how some campaigns were so successful that TV comedy shows copied the commercials with parodies. Today anyone can parody a popular viral video hit and become one itself.

Alan Parker pointed out that the people in the business at the time were  “having fun doing it – clients loved it and business grew”. Clearly there is some of that same vibe around now in the digital ad business although not to the point of the crazy times advertising lived through in the 70s when many of the personalities lived the life of kings. Yet the 70s were also grim times in the UK and the advertising being developed represented a kind of escapism. It isn’t much different from the current world financial crisis with people seeking alternate realities in online games.

As the 70s rolled into the 80s admen branded themselves wanting to be celebrities. Peter Marsh was the worst example of this while the Saatchis took the world by storm with their creative and commercial bravery. They came to embody the greed is good 80s lifestyle.

These people were larger than life. Some said of Tim Bell, Saatchi MD at the time, that “dogs would cross road to be patted by him”. We don’t quite have the same personalities in the digital ad world today but people like Mark Zuckerberg can easily attract a panting crowd at something like the Cannes Lions.

The advertising industry didn’t look like it would stop growing. TV ads became more epic in 70s and early 80s looking more like movies.

Meanwhile Charles Saatchi fed stories to press and used Campaign magazine as springboard into the national media. Not much different than digital agencies using blogs, Twitter and Facebook to make a name for themselves today. In an interesting parallel with the Obama campaign the Saatchis  helped change politics allowing Margaret Thatcher to move into 10 Downing Street. In the documentary we see her talking at the Press Advertising Awards in 1979 saying that “it does pay to advertise”. In the same way that an ad campaign got her into power would Obama be in the Whitehouse without the ability of social media to change the mindset of the majority?

In the 80s British advertising became extravagant and indulgent… and sloppy. The people running these hugely succeful agencies wanted to be master of universe. To dominate the world. They started to believe that they could they run industry not just campaigns? In 1987 The Saatchis tried to buy Midland Bank – pure hubris as the documentary pointed out along with an ironic comment by Martin Sorell that they had “delusions of grandeur”.

Makes you think about AOL buying Time Warner at the height of the dotcom boom.

So the ad industry had become too powerful and they were put back into their box by the business world. There was just no accountability. The Saatchis suffered a drop in revenue of over US$100 million. They had to readjust and the figureheads were forced out. The bottom line took over with the business was now led by managers and accountants. It was like going back to 50s with “suits” in charge. Creatives were no longer king.

The advertising revolution that started in the 60s was over by the end of the 80s and the beancounters took over. Now we sit in the middle of a new revolution which already suffered one bust at the end of the 90s but is now stronger than every. Traditional advertising is being overrun by digital with many agencies scrambling to keep up. Google are the new Saatchis with a bloated sense of importance and value. Will the digital ad industry keep growing in the coming decade or suffer the same fate as the British ad industry in the 80s? Perhaps with a little wisdom from past experiences we can avoid the same fate.

September 14, 2010

Books for the app generation

Stephen Fry always surprised me by his fascination with technology. Perhaps it’s the way he talks in that Dickensian way that puts him more in the 19th century rather than the 21st. But he gushes on his blog about Apple products like he’s Steve Jobs boyfriend and has more Twitter followers than Kanye West.

When it came to publishing his biography he also wanted to give it a touch of geekiness and he has done this with the app version. This interactive iPhone app lets users read his new book The Fry Chronicles using an innovative pinwheel. It uses “visual indexing” to let you read the book in an non-linear fashion. This gives you the freedom to pull together different threads from the book to read, such as people he has worked with (Hugh Laurie, Rowan Atkinson, Ben Elton) and themes in his life (addictions, Cambridge University, Blackadder, depression).

The app’s description says: “myFry takes the traditional art of the index, plugs it into the mains and brings it twitchingly to life for the 21st century.”

Will this pave the way for publishing in the hyperactive, attention-deficient world we now live in?

September 6, 2010

Week of tweets #17 (summer is over edition)

I seem to be very bad at doing this on a weekly basis. I could say it doesn’t matter as nobody reads my blog but I had my highest ever visitor count in August. So no excuses… this better be good!

Great! RT @Schwartzie14: 1 of the smartest creatives in advertising gives u some excellent tips on expanding yr brain – http://bit.ly/9m5Y6S

  • I love a good list and in this one from Edward Boches he shares a selection of books and blogs designed to help anyone in their digital evolution.

How do you top the Nike Chalkbot? Meet Precious – the bike with a brain… on DigitalBuzz Blog http://bit.ly/bntxiB

Good read… RT @BBHLabs: Interview w/ MDC & Partners Chief Innovation Officer @faris, check it out http://j.mp/agaeXb

  • Faris Yakob from MDC & Partners is one of the many smart people driving our industry forward. So when he speaks you have to listen – especially when you see his hair.

Real world social – RT @adenhepburn: Facebook Integration At The Coca Cola Village http://bit.ly/9RsK63

  • Digital and physical are becoming more and more intertwined. This beach party looks like hell on earth to me but presents some really interesting possibilities for making social networks more real world.

Do We Need a New Definition of Creativity? In Today’s Digital World, the Answer Is Yes – AdAge article…http://bit.ly/d7UETa

  • In this article by Ana Andjelic she gives some tips about being creative in in the ad world today. She says that “the best creative is the creation of relationships, connections and interactions. It connects tools with behaviors, locations, and objects. It creates networks or systems. To be creative there, you need to be strategic: you need to figure out who connects to whom, when and why and to what result. Simply, you need to plan for a chain reaction. These networks then give way to a collective creativity that becomes visible to all to use it, build upon it, change it, and add to it”. Keep reading here.

Like… RT @adenhepburn: Sony: Media Monster Wars Facebook App http://bit.ly/aH68Eu (great example of branded social gaming!)

Great article… RT @Clickaholic: RT @LarryTolpin: 50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation – http://j.mp/ciUJZa

  • Some great tips here such as having no fixed rules or templates, getting rid of fear, having fun, making mistakes and more…

Revenge of the Nerd: Great review by Scott Foundas of upcoming movie The Social Network. Must see it…http://tinyurl.com/2e9jqu2

  • Will Mark Zuckerberg be queuing up to see this one? I doubt it.

Looking good… RT @chrisgrayson: VIDEO: Augmented Reality cosmetic virtual mirror kiosk by @IBM, demo for Clinique –http://is.gd/eRXdK

  • We will definitely be seeing a lot more of this instore digital displays and interactive kiosks as the technology become cheaper. IBM seem to be investing a lot of money into it. The voice over on the demo is not very exciting but the possibilities are…

and to end on a lighter note as usual….

Apple take note – great sponsorship opportunity 🙂 RT @robbiew: Sez my 4 yr old daughter: “I want to go to Paris and see the iPhone Tower”

September 1, 2010

How to rise to the top of the tree

The book that inspired this blog, David Ogilvy’s “Confessions of an Advertising Man”, has a chapter dedicated to helping people rise to the top. He talks about being ambitious (but not so aggressive that your fellow workers destroy you), being informed about the business you’re working on and putting in long hours. In the 21st century, especially in the digital domain, things have not changed so much. If you have been in the business for a while stop reading now. If you are just starting then this is for you…

David urged people to recognise opportunities. It can be difficult when so many new developments in the digital space appear on a weekly basis. Some opportunities turn into dead ends but if you don’t take risks you will never get anywhere. He also said that failure is required which means that everyone will know about it thanks to Twitter and YouTube.  Take Chatroulette. Several brands saw an opportunity and grabbed it. It was a perfect platform to promote this movie:


Another of Ogilvy’s tips for success was knowing how to make good presentations. We all hate Powerpoint but can’t seem to escape it. Even if your presentation is for a digital project why present it on a screen? Get tactile, engage in role play and a little theatre. Learn from the people who present with passion and intelligence. You can sell an idea purely with words. Just check out a few TED videos and you’ll soon see that Powerpoint is not required. And if you do need slides use them as a creative talking point…

David said don’t discuss your client’s business in elevators. Today it’s easier than ever to let slip agency or client secrets that should be kept to yourself. Be careful what you blog and tweet about. Don’t post project updates on Facebook and don’t complain about your boss.

Ogilvy recommended having a hobby – advertising. He believed that you had to live and breathe the business to succeed. He encouraged people to write articles, become an authority. It’s even easier today with the internet. So get a blog going even if you think you don’t have time. You need a voice if you want people to notice you. I took his advice myself and became Digitaladman and haven’t looked back:)

Iain Tait of Weiden + Kennedy has some good advice on his blog about getting the job that you really want.

His advice is mostly aimed at planners but it remains valid for any kind of position in an agency that focuses on digital.

Get yourself a portfolio that shows what you’ve been working on to create a talking point during your interview. Make sure that it’s not full of errors so get others to check it first and give valuable feedback.

Be honest and clear about your role on the projects you talk about. (this is me interjecting – I once interviewed someone who showed a very high profile project so I asked what they did on it… because it was my project from a previous agency. They had simply added a button to the site).

Even if you are not in a creative role have an opinion about design, interaction, sound etc. It shows you care about the end product.

Brand yourself by knowing what you stand for and do some detective work about the company you want to join.

You can read the full blog post here.

Once you are in your dream job you need to have a plan for how you’re going to rise to the top. Ultimately it’s about hard work. Ogilvy says in his book “put your shoulder to the wheel, but be careful to pick the right wheel”. Make sure that your personal vision matches the company you work for. Do you share the same values?

Watch the people who have made it to the top. It is so much easier now since most of them are blogging and tweeting. How do they look at the world? Understand their points of view. Read about them in the industry press to get a real picture of what makes them tick. It will teach you a lot about what it takes to be a leader and help you define your own unique style.

If you are starting out in the business then it is a great time. Digital is now a mature discipline and we need people who will define where it goes next. Enjoy the ride.

Update: Interested in being a digital copywriter? This article on Mashable is for you >

August 27, 2010

Effies down under

The Australian Effie Awards ceremony last night revealed some great winners. Even though we live in a connected world too often we focus on great work coming out of the USA or Europe. There is some amazing work being done in countries like Australia or in Asia. So let’s take a look at some of the Effie winners.

I really liked this gold winner from Naked Communications and Frank PR where they encouraged people to pressure Richard Branson into giving community radio station FBi a million dollars. FBi Radio is an iconic, independent, Australian radio station based in Sydney. The financial crisis forced the station to the brink of closure. They needed over $500,000 to save the station, they had a $0.00 budget. Richard Branson had nothing to do with the station. He was just one rich person that the agency felt would appreciate the humour of being targeted this way. Branson became aware of the campaign, and Twittered to say he’d be calling in. Live on air he donated a massive prize pool, and his involvement generated more PR and social media activity. Check out the case video here.

Another gold winner from DDB Sydney was for McDonald’s Australia and Ronald McDonald House Charities. They needed to find a big idea for McHappy Day that would cut through charity fatigue so they developed a powerful message that all children, especially seriously ill ones, had the right to happiness. This helped them create a campaign where people felt they were contributing to the emotional well-being of sick children rather than just donating money. With a TVC, campaign website, digital in-store and packaging they were able to break the record for previous years with over AU$2 million donated. An amazing result.

Check out all the winners here.