The story of how an idea turned into gold

One year ago, almost to the day, a creative team at WCRS lifted the lid on a idea that would eventually bring home Gold and Silver Lions from Cannes.

The initial reveal was low-key: a written entry and a sketch storyboard submitted to digital out-of-home specialist Ocean.

But that entry took the team's idea on to win one of the top prizes in Ocean’s Digital Creative Competition, run with Brand Republic. And the prize of £100,000 in free media space on Ocean’s digital screens was the platform on which WCRS brought the idea for Women’s Aid to life.

The resulting ad launched across three of Ocean's premium locations on International Women’s Day in March this year, showing a victim of domestic abuse and the words "Look at me. We can stop it." As passers-by looked at the ad, rather than walking by, pioneering gaze recognition technology made the bruises on the woman’s face vanish. As more people looked at the screen, the bruises gradually disappeared.

The initial idea won over 12 expert industry judges to triumph in the interactive category in the Ocean Digital Creative Competition and was lauded at an awards ceremony at London’s IMAX in front of an audience of 500 in the previous October. By the following March, it was a digital out-of-home ad reaching 326 million people across 20 countries.

Fast-forward to June this year and the Women’s Aid ad by WCRS lifted a Gold Lion in Outdoor and a Silver in Cyber at Cannes.

Now in its sixth year, the Ocean Digital Creative Competition continues to inspire people to use the digital out-of-home medium to its maximum potential. This year’s competition is open for new entries until August 28th. To enter, visit

For inspiration, hear the WCRS executive creative director Ross Neil on the winning Women’s Aid idea and see other top creatives talk to Campaign about the power and pitfalls of digital out-of-home.

For even more, watch out for the five trends uncovered in the past five years of the competition in Campaign, August 14.


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