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Australian digital creatives defend tech-based campaigns as more than awards scams

(l-r) Steve Coll, Jay Morgan, Scott Nowell and Ben Cooper

(l-r) Steve Coll, Jay Morgan, Scott Nowell and Ben Cooper

M&C Saatchi Australia’s group innovation director Ben Cooper has defended campaigns such as the agency’s recent Clever Buoy for Optus and Durex’s Fundawear campaign created by Havas Worldwide as more than scams to win awards.

Speaking at the Mumbrella360 conference in Sydney today, Cooper, on a panel of creatives including Havas’ digital creative director Jay Morgan and The Monkeys ECD and co-founder Scott Nowell, presented case studies on award-winning digital campaigns.

“That’s not what this is about,” said Cooper, who joined M&C Saatchi as innovation director in March when asked if campaigns like Clever Buoy, a partnership between Optus and Google to warn lifeguards if there are sharks near beaches, were about making the agency famous.

“Clever Bouys started with a brief that was making the intangible tangible and showing the power of the network. What it’s ended up to be is a genuine product that can actually help us have a safer relationship with the beach.

“It will no doubt win awards, but ultimately it is something that we want to see all the way through. What I’ve seen is an appetite from all of us to build something that will really make a difference and it just happened to come from an ad agency.

“I believe these ideas can come from anywhere. What we’re really good at is connecting audiences with ideas, we’re brilliant at that. The innovation needs to come from anywhere and we’re all responsible for driving these ideas. The truth is, in our world we probably will get awards for it and I applaud that because I think its award-winning stuff.”

Havas Worldwide’s Morgan talked audiences through the Fundawear campaign for Durex, which saw the agency build underwear able to receive touch signals from a mobile phone.

The campaign, which received worldwide attention, was also tested on the client, Morgan revealed in the session, saying the client’s comment after wearing the Fundawear was “I need a cigarette”.

Nowell from The Monkeys went through the ‘Hungry, Thirsty’ campaign for Oak and the ‘Reverse Robberies’ stunt they conducted to combat problems of distribution.

Miranda Ward

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