The APG Creative Strategy Awards Shortlist 2009: Kent County Council

Planned by: James Joice
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Brand: Kent County Council
Campaign: House


So often we think about message first and media second. This case reminds us of the old adage that, often, the media can be the message.

The problem Kent County Council faced was how to discourage teenagers from doing all the things they enjoy, but the rest of us are so worried about - unprotected sex, drinking, drugs and smoking. Advertising about these issues proliferated at national level and it was unlikely that local versions would add much.

While digital would have been an obvious answer, the team went further taking insights from the world of online, but then applying them in the real world. The solution was built around creating a place where teenagers felt happy to talk. Disused high-street shops were converted into portals, designed by teenagers to resemble "a mate's house" and branded "house". Hundreds of teenagers have benefited.

While on a small scale, this paper transcended public sector or not-for-profit categories to stand out as a simply outstanding idea, whatever the client and whatever the problem. Imaginative and effective channel thinking like this is rare and precious.