I was kind of obsessed with comic book super heroes when I was young. The back stories, especially the non-mutant ones, inspired me into believing. I found myself inviting spiders to bite me, hoping I’d have some sort of chemical spilled on me, I’d even stick staples in power outlets thinking that even if there was only a 1 in a 1 billion chance that I might become “Electric Boy”… it was worth the risk. I was not an extraordinarily bright kid… but in reflection, at least I can be proud of a very active imagination.
Being a grown up now, my obsessions are different. It’s pretty easy to get caught up with the goals, complexities and challenges at SCS. They have their own unique way of keeping that imagination alive on the day to day. But recently, I had the honor of judging the 2022 Care Awards. If you’re not familiar, the ACT Responsible CARE Awards were created to highlight the advertising industry’s contribution to society by celebrating the most successful creative social and environmental campaigns.
Running through the submissions, I started feeling a whole new level of enthusiasm and appreciation for our industry and our ability to fight for “Good.” Dove’s “Reverse Selfie” work renewed their fight for real beauty standards. The highly touted “World’s First Liquid Billboard” created by Havas Dubai was designed to share adidas’ newest ambition for more inclusive swimwear and a greater space for women in sport. Happiness Belgium created Canon’s “ReStory” campaign to help restore tens of thousands of photos damaged in the most destructive floods in Belgium’s history. And a personal favorite – Creative Jung von Matt NECKAR’s work on Mauritius Images’ “Clear the Rights, Clear the Ocean” campaign that changed their stock image watermarks into “plastic marks,” not only making the problem of an ocean full of plastic visible with every search for ocean and underwater images, but also turning every licensee into an environmental activist by automatically donating 33% of the license fees to international projects working to free the ocean from plastic waste.
This is just a smattering of the entries to the CARE Awards. Each one a unique insight and a unique strategic and creative approach to solving some of the greatest social and environmental challenges facing us today. A truly sublime reminder that we don’t have to resort to extremes like sticking staples in electric outlets to become a force of good… not when we have the powers of imagination.