Taking advertising creativity beyond the line

All Work

Small business is big business. Cue big messages.

When you’re Vodafone, you can get pretty much anything to talk to just about everything, anywhere. That’s Mobility, and it’s changing the way businesses of any size actually do business. Mobility is possibility, as these powerful broadcast messages make clear – paving the way for a whole host of product and service demonstrations.

Do your thing better with Vodafone

James Rolleston introduces Vodafone

James Rolleston helps Vodafone explain how to Do Your Thing Better

Vodafone is here to help you do your thing better. But what is your thing? And what if Vodafone could show you all kinds of ways a smartphone might help you do your thing better — whatever your thing might be?

To answer those questions, we set about researching the 30 Things New Zealanders Most Love To Do. Then we turned those discoveries into a whole web of helpful guidance. At the top of the funnel we ran some simple, eyecatching digital ads, connecting to a powerful portal that lived in Facebook and produced a ton of social content (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube…), plus posters, print ads, intro videos, PR stories, promotional ideas, instore graphics, you name it.

The power of the experience revolves around the fact that everything promotes that genuine Top 30 List — and the complementary Top 10 Business Things. And wherever we could, we featured the classic laid-back Kiwi icon, James Rolleston of Boy fame.

The core of the experience is the Do Your Thing Better portal – where you can pick up to three things you’re into from the Top 30 List, and as James explains, “click through to see all the awesome Apps for your Smartphone, and links to really useful stuff on the Internet” that Vodafone’s found to help you do your thing better. It’s dynamic, so it works across tablet, PC and mobile.

Vodafone Do Your Thing Better on iPhone

See how Vodafone can help you do your thing better. Head on over to www.doyourthingbetter.co.nz — or if you’re a bit “entrepreneurial”, try www.dobusinessbetter.co.nz.

This project was a massive team effort from the crew at DraftFCB in Auckland, along with the great crew at Vodafone. From channel wrangling to scripts, shoots and edits by way of website QC and checking off every QR code, it’s been a huge project, with heaps of people to thank — especially as it looks like it’s working already…
Vodafone fans on Facebook love the work

Choice, indeed!


Sometimes all we need is a little help.

When times are tough, it can be easier to turn a blind eye with the promise of “next time, I’ll do something to help – but right now I just need to look after myself”.

Sometimes, though, a little reminder that anyone can help is all we need to jog ourselves out of that comfort zone. So, we introduced the Auckland City Mission’s smallest ever fundraiser – starting with a wee movie…

…and then we sent him out onto the streets to become the embodiment of vulnerability and never-give-up-ness. I don’t want to write an epic about his epic journey; best you click through BestAds to see the case study. I reckon it’s worth it.
kenneth raising funds for auckland city mission
I will be forever disappointed that we couldn’t get the Arduino to work with the mobile shield to get people texting a donation to keep him moving to the Mission on that last day. That would’ve been awesome – but cutting-edge stuff on a negative budget is never easy. Next time!

Play Melbourne. You know you want to.

Together, Tourism Victoria and Publicis Mojo created the longest-running tourism marketing programme in the world. The eighteen-year-old ‘Jigsaw’ campaign is now its tenth phase, with the launch of a new chapter: ‘Play Melbourne’ – a story to deepen visitors’ appreciation of Melbourne’s unique creative sub-culture.
Play Melbourne - reward your curiosity

The campaign integrates loads of interactive and experiential elements, including a rich digital hub for all that’s hip and happening in the city, a delightfully intriguing iPhone app, and a chance each week for an entire year to Play Melbourne and win a spontaneous visit.

The campaign is self-supporting through Social, but we had to light the fuse somewhere – and light it we did, with a set of web ads springing from the Play Melbourne story. They’re an intriguing, interactive, upmarket and enticing bunch of rich and standard banners that drive tens of thousands of visitors to the site each time they run.

It was a pleasure and a real workout to be Digital CD on this job, and big thanks to everybody in the world who was involved in making this work: the inimitable JC and the indefatigable RI; Pete Bakacs for piccies; Brendan McMahon for engineering; Matt Houltham for early wrangling; Fracture for gorgeous Flash… oh, look, just… thanks, EVERYBODY.

Cheers to your very own piece of New Zealand.

Steinlager Pure website and iPhone App

Imagine a piece of the purest land in the world secured in your name – and the chance to see it for real.

Taking the iconic-in-New-Zealand but globally tiny Steinlager Pure brand to the world was not going to be easy — especially with a budget that would barely get us one month on a Times Square billboard. We went back to the product truth and came up with a plan that would resonate with urban dwellers the world over.

That plan: When you buy a Steinlager Pure, you get a piece of pure New Zealand. There’s a great video of the result, here.

It took a while, but we worked with our client (the wonderful Ben Wheeler) to reserve 120 hectares of native New Zealand forest and wetland, in the name of Steinlager Pure drinkers in our launch markets. The deal: Buy one Steinlager Pure, enter your code, and you get a unique piece of this iconic part of New Zealand reserved in your name. Buy another, and you add a chance to visit your piece of land for real – courtesy of Steinlager.
Steinlager Pure coaster showing unique code portion
Steinlager Pure was a niche brand launching into behemoth beer markets like the US, Canada and the UK, so we had to make sure the idea would cut through. Posters showed actual shots of the land, divided into unique portions. Coasters were cut from those poster images, each containing an innovative snap-to-open code. Buy the beer, get the coaster (already a unique piece), then enter your code via SMS, mobile site or on the App to get an instant reward right at the point of purchase.

Of course we added easy ways to spread the word through social networks, and ultimately we’re starting to build a database in each market for regular dialogue. But making the exchange feel very real for participants was key, and a standout element is the iPhone App with its goosebump-inducing motion-controlled panoramas – along with an Augmented Reality compass-based Pure finder that even shows you where and how far away your piece of purity is.

Breaking the ice

Winter weather makes poverty even harder. During winter, people in poverty find it harder to access even the basics. Our client — Auckland City Mission — appeals for money each year to help. But this year wasn’t exactly the best economic climate to ask for donations. We needed a way to break through, dramatise the issue, and get people involved — and get them donating. So we froze $40,000 in a two-tonne block of ice, surrounded it with txt-operated robots, and asked New Zealanders to set the robots to work via txt instructions that acted as donations.

Ice Mission robots in action freeing $40,000

The Ice Mission robots in action, freeing $40,000

Watch the Ice Mission – full back story

The coverage we got through a live stream of our txt-able robots was immensely valuable for City Mission across winter, and immensely valuable for our team as we learned how hard we could push every envelope and pull every string to make it happen.

Thanks to Guy Denniston for the implausible idea, the entire Mojo team (including myself) for believing in it and pushing it through, and the incredible production team — including Rochelle Ivanson as Seemingly Unflappable Digital Producer Extraordinaire and Rob Isaac as Smart Guy Who Didn’t Once Lose His Temper. I’m delighted to have been involved with them all in this project; for social reasons as well as the fact that it was pretty frickin’ cool.

Treat your customers like rock stars

Who wants to be treated like a number? Nobody – that’s who. That’s why Virgin Mobile came to Publicis Digital for help with bringing the idea of a digital Members’ Lounge to life.Virgin Mobile Members' Lounge - treating customers like rock stars

As the iconic underdog battler brand on the Australian mobile scene, Virgin Mobile had all the right in the world to leap into social marketing boots and all. Our team at Publicis Digital in Auckland – Andre, me, Jeremy and Rochelle – conceptualised and designed an approach designed to break through the corporate culture and treat Virgin Mobile “members” like, well, rock stars.

Based in a slick, ultra-fluid site built by our team in Australia, and driven via a Twitter feed packed with surprise gigs, topups, freebies, shoutouts and more, the Members’ Lounge leverages Virgin’s unique personality and familiar rock star personality to create what was at the time a completely new style of customer retention community, pushing highly customised content and offers to Virgin Mobile customers – or should we say, members. One of those wonderful projects when strategy, ideation, design, development, the web tools to make it happen and a fully engaged client results in something really cool. Me likey.

What’s next is up to you.

A quick-step journey through sites best sited to a life lived to the full

A quick-step journey through sites best suited to a life lived to the full

Not your ordinary website for not your ordinary beer: when Steinlager Edge debuted as the mid-strength beer for those living life to the full, we knew we had to pull something out of the bag to not only help explain the product benefit, but to cut through — with an idea that actually added value to the web experience, rather than interrupting it.

Visit the site

The result: a seamless, swift, iFrame-based choose-your-own-adventure journey through some of the best local content – selected purely for those to whom living a full life is not about doing less, but about doing it all.

Your journey begins at one of many clear-cut web ads (with up to three times average click-through) inviting you to decide what’s next. We set up multiple journeys based on themes like Work vs Play, and Home vs Away, and lead you through sites that prove the web is not just for email and news, but inspiration and opportunity. Each site was carefully selected to help provide ideas for getting ahead, getting away, or getting inspired — and each step was also closely tied with an occasion to drink.

Every page featured an iFrame journey selector, acting as a stepping-stone to the next

Every page featured an iFrame journey selector, acting as a stepping-stone to the next

Using iFrames allowed us to control the journey, while providing full, uninterrupted access to the entire content of each site that agreed to join us in promoting Steinlager Edge – right down to ensuring Flash movies would still run under our overlay (thanks CactusLab!)

Schhh… it’s for adults only.

The Schweppes Short Film Festival Bar - with a twist...

The Schweppes Short Film Festival Bar - with a twist...

In a world dominated by perceptions of carbonated beverages being “fizzy pop for kids”, Schweppes was not being consumed at adult occasions. Something resonant needed to happen to remind the audience of the timeless, adult sophistication of Schweppes. The web was the perfect medium to deliver content unashamedly targeted at adults. The team at Mojo created an online-only Short Film Festival, featuring filmic stories that reflect adult experiences and aspirations, leaving the audience intrigued, invigorated and wanting to know more.

Our team was asked to “invigorate” the relatively static site. Amongst a slew of enhancements, we added an intriguing, sophisticated and entertaining Bar experience… with more than one twist. Visit the site to see what I mean.

With over 1.4 million unique visitors to date, at an average of 7.6 minutes on site, that’s 10 million minutes of brand engagement.

Drawing a line in the sand.

Standing our ground with words writ large

Standing our ground with words writ large

All the ingredients in Steinlager Pure are sourced from the purest place on earth – New Zealand. New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance is one of the reasons we can make this claim. With the permission of the estate of the late Prime Minister of New Zealand, David Lange, we brought to life the words from the 1985 Oxford Union debate – where David Lange made his case against pro-nuclear forces. At that time he drew a line in the sand that is now seen as one of the defining moments for New Zealand.

As a precursor to the launch of a new campaign for Steinlager Pure, words from that debate were written in the sand on New Zealand’s shore. The link at the conclusion of the film takes the viewer to a preview of the commercial, a fuller version of the debate and further information about Steinlager Pure.

Absolute clarity… as seen on TV.

Better web design delivers absolute clarity

Better web design delivers absolute clarity

LCD, Plasma, FullHD vs HD vs HD-Ready, HDMI, VieraLink, Composite, RGB… if there was one category looking for a bit of clarity, it was flatscreen TVs. Knowing (a) that a huge amount of the buying process takes place online, and (b) that entire process can be thwarted at the last second by a salesman on commission, we took on the job of recreating the web presence – including strategising and managing the search – for Panasonic Viera in New Zealand, as part of the Publicis Mojo team.

While a set of truly excellent TV commercials did the impossible job of making Panasonic’s great TVs look amazing on other people’s rubbish TVs, we worked in the background to ensure Viera’s entire web presence – search and website – reflected the “Absolute Clarity” message. That meant reviewing everything: from a redesign to reflect the glossy, high-end feel of the TVs themselves, right through to staging the copy in deeper and deeper layers so the average visitor wasn’t scared away by jargon from the start. And the site’s structure and all that copy was designed in concert with the Search team to lure visitors in and drop them on the right page, depending on their search term, which depends on their stage in the buying process.

Result? From number three to number one in flatscreen TVs in six months, while a competitor even gave up and exited the market. That’s a pretty clear indication of success.

Giving your mate a wake up call.

Our man will sort out your shambles of a mate...

Our man will sort out your shambles of a mate...

Everyone has a mate who is a bit of a shambles in the morning.

We helped give them a bit of a wake up call – in the form of a personalised video from a no-nonsense character, who knows their name, mocks their morning mocha, and gives them a simple solution: wake up and drink Tararua Real Iced Coffee.

Every video was unique – triggered by an email, and seamlessly stitched together on the fly from more than 115 individual clips. During the 33,000 minutes of brand engagement we generated, over 50% of videos previewed were sent to a friend – and nine out of ten of those friends clicked through to be given a wake-up call they won’t forget.

A further innovation came as we looked to convert interest to trial. We made sure each shambles of a mate could book a perfectly timed, pre-personalised wake-up call to their mobile in the morning – complete with a txt coupon for the all new no-nonsense Tararua Real Iced Coffee at the nearest gas station.

The campaign not only gave thousands of kiwi blokes a bit of a wake up call; we proved that people engage with FMCG brands in the digital space – and we helped the product sell well over target: in the first eight weeks it sold twice what the benchmark product sells… in an entire year. And that’s a bit of a wake up call for the entire category.

Face to Face with the Australian Cricket Team

Face to face with the Australian Cricket Team

Face to face with the Australian Cricket Team

We adapted the ground-breaking 2007 Weet-Bix All Blacks Face2Face campaign to create a site that let Australians face up to their cricket heroes via the web or mobile, to see which one they most resemble.

• Learning the background and hearing from the team about how exciting it was developing the All Blacks version of this with the irrepressible Daniel Lee reminded me of the reasons I chose to join Ogilvy in the first place.
• However. A relaxed bout of to-ing and fro-ing in the selling-in stages left us with the most insanely compressed timeline I have ever, ever seen (and I’ve seen a few)…
• …made worse by the Christmas break — and a freelancer who did “nothing” over a ten-day period. And by “nothing”, I mean “not a thing”.
• Without the incredible willpower, outright skill and incomprehensibly good humour of the lead team (Super Rupert, Farah the Invincible and freelance developer Oscar the Invisible), there is no way the agency would have survived this process.
• And many, many thanks to the rest of the team who kept their own balls in the air, while this project – supporting one of Australasia’s greatest brands and one of Australia’s greatest sports teams – was successfully managed to completion. You know who you are.

Embedding ideas in their context.

The alchemy of ideas: turning your everyday insert into something great.

The alchemy of ideas: turning your everyday insert into something great.

This work for Cisco Systems was briefed in as an insert the media crew accidentally bought; “could you just bang something out, please?”. One never just “bangs something out” — especially with such a great idea staring oneself in the face. These heavy-duty network devices with embedded security feature an inextricable link between the network router and its built-in security device. One unit instead of two means one password fewer, one exposed network address fewer, and no cross-vendor arguments. Security is embedded right into the unit.

Meet the Robinsons

Your Time Machine Awaits...

Your Time Machine Awaits…

Capturing the spirit of adventure and excitement of the film, Meet The Robinsons takes you on a treasure hunt to the future. This campaign seeded clues in off-line media such as bus stops, movie posters, and press ads; and asked participants to build “time-machines” by submitting their clues online.

What it does: Shares the excitement of the film through video and animation; more importantly excites kids into signing up to build their own Time Machine from parts they’d found scattered around Singapore.

Who built it: Steaming through content supplied by Buena Vista in California, Andy headed Kash and Loy to build out the back end, while cajoling a freelance artist to replicate the Disney style in developing the Time Machines for the front end.

What we learned: Keep Playing. The media company couldn’t seem to find ways to bring this movie to life. Profero kept at it, throwing idea after idea around until we found one that would gel with the audience of ten-year-olds.

Dressing up for Christmas

Citibank: Dressing up for Christmas

Citibank: Dressing up for Christmas

Citibank partnered with Singapore’s oldest department store to create the Citibank Tangs Visa – just in time for Christmas. We went shopping for a couple of kick-ass illustrators, and ended up with a real treat: a bagful of goodies, just for Citibank Tangs Visa cardmembers.

Play / Pause with Millennium Copthorne

Two doors: one leads to excitement, the other to enchantment

Two doors: one leads to excitement, the other to enchantment

A sideline to the then-newly revamped Millennium Copthorne corporate site, this blog-based travel journal is packed with local ideas, supplied by hotel staff and delivered from two points of view: do you want to play, or pause?

What it does: A great job of adding personality to Millennium & Copthorne hotels by allowing staff to share their knowledge and ideas, for guests to enjoy from an invigorating or relaxing perspective. Endlessly updatable, and the more content the better.

Who built it: The idea was sold in by Daryl Arnold. Joel, Farah and myself knocked it into shape, while Jon and May kicked off the design for May and Andy to polish. Back end by Kash Neo and Friends; initial content from me, writer / editor Vanessa Wood, and very receptive and helpful clients Jinou Park and Darren Ng and Friends.

What we learned:
When your idea is sold in properly, the rest will follow. Play / Pause is a good example of a project that came together just right: a great idea, creatively presented through moodboards, concept sketches and client involvement, all leading to collective agreement. That agreement was taken up by a motivated creative team producing first-class design, built upon a modular backend written by professional developers, populated with professional writing, and all managed by a project manager… we even had a scope document, a timeline and a contract. Joy!


Where's my CD? It looked secure on the outside...

Where's my CD? It looked secure on the outside...

It might look safe and secure from the outside now, but there’s no reason to believe the hackers haven’t already been and gone…
This “free CD” full of tips and tricks to stop the hackers in their tracks is surely an extremely valuable item – hence the secure packaging. But on opening the case, the network security engineer to whom this was sent discovers the CD has been stolen long before the package was sealed… (Concept only)

What it does
Makes the concept of holistic network security stunningly clear: a firewall is no longer enough to secure an extended network.

Who built it
Concept, design, artwork, copy, photography, and hand modeling all by, er, me.

Amongst all the awards, I am still proudest of having this piece chosen by my peers at Wunderman as the best unproduced idea (Cannes 2005). Cheers, you lot.