Innocent wins Ocean's Crucial Creative Competition

Monkey Shoulder, Lovehoney and NHS also win media space.

Innocent: winning team and campaign
Innocent: winning team and campaign

Innocent Drinks has scooped first prize in Ocean Outdoor's Crucial Creative Competition, which launched in May to help galvanise the industry into action as lockdown eased. The campaign, created in-house, wins £500,000 of Ocean ad space.

Whisky brand Monkey Shoulder and online adult toys retailer Lovehoney each won £250,000 of screen space as joint runners-up, with campaigns by their respective agencies OOH Tommy and Brave.

In a tightly fought contest, the judges have also awarded an additional fourth prize to NHS England and MullenLowe London.

The winners were announced today (Thursday) in a live virtual ceremony. The contest replaces the annual Digital Creative Competition, run with Campaign, which has been postponed to 2021.

“The aim of Ocean’s Creative Competition was to help rally advertisers, agencies and communities as Covid-19 begins to ease," Phil Hall, Ocean joint managing director, said. “It was an opportunity for brands and creative minds to create great work that was relevant and positive to help businesses overcome great uncertainty and people to emerge from lockdown with a greater sense of confidence.

“We weren’t too sure how many people would enter in such a short timeframe, but the response has been inspirational. Our winners have captured the spirit of the competition with great examples of human marketing and some of the best billboard copywriting we have seen in a while. We look forward to seeing their work help get the country and our communities back on their feet this summer.” 

In total, there were 140 entries, which were judged by 12 industry experts. The winning campaigns will run throughout this summer. 

Winning campaigns

First prize (£500,000 of media space)
Innocent Drinks 'Remember this?' by Innocent Drinks

"Remember this?" reminds people what they have been missing – or not – over the past few months, be it wearing a suit, going outside in the sun, favourite places, shopping, the pubs, traffic jams, or popping out the office to get a smoothie. Ads are enhanced digitally to be location-specific for every place where they will appear.

The campaign uses location-specific photography and animated text in Innocent’s signature tone in a way that judges felt captured the essence of the competition and represents the art of great billboard copywriting – simple and pithy.

Runner-up (£250,000 of media space)
Monkey Shoulder 'The new rules of mixing' by OOH Tommy

This idea scores points for being a hyper-localised campaign that is scalable and transferable across the entire out-of-home industry. 

Using wit and charm to encourage people back into bars up and down the country, good copywriting makes sure that everyone stays safe by respecting the new rules of mixing, an art mastered by Monkey Shoulder. Another touch is the gifting of the ad space to local bars and pubs, targeting footfall to nearby establishments by topping off the bespoke copy with a trial voucher.

Runner-up (£250,000 of media space)
Lovehoney 'Light relief in lockdown' by Brave

This campaign was praised for combining great copywriting with an obvious understanding of the consumer, based on good research.

Focusing on the new vocabulary of social distancing, lockdown and masks, Brave has linked this to Lovehoney’s range of products to raise a smile. Acknowledging that some may find it risqué, the judges felt it was both cheeky and grown-up without appearing smutty or crass, leaving the viewer to find the joke by letting the logo do a lot of the work. 

Additional prize
NHS England 'We are the NHS: Live' by MullenLowe London

As this campaign shows, the NHS is so much more than treating Covid-19. The idea is to inspire young people to consider a career in the NHS by celebrating extraordinary work with a big “thank you”.

For the first time on digital out-of-home screens, the NHS opens its doors for a 24-hour-only event showcasing in real time the amazing, inspiring work of staff every day of the year.

This broadcast will provide a live glimpse into what happens on wards, in GP surgeries and in people’s homes. Fractures being fixed. Wounds being dressed. Patients being comforted. Chemotherapy appointments. Caesareans. Emergency admissions. Nearly 500 breakfasts being prepared by catering staff – and more.

The event will be geo-located using Ocean displays that are close to schools, colleges and universities – all natural recruiting grounds.

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