Short List
Product / ServiceCENSUS
CategoryA08. Best Use or Integration of Gaming
Production Company MILLIPEDE Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

Australia has a significant population of mobile gamers. Smartphones are a hugely popular gaming platform in Australia - approximately 51% of online Australians aged 16+ own a smartphone, and 58% of men and 59% of women who own a smartphone say they use their phone to play games. By contrast, the Australian Bureau of Statistics website peaked at around 12,000 unique visitors a month in 2012. Most Australians either don’t understand the relevance of the data or simply aren’t interested – and few would seek out content about statistics from a government site. However, a successful campaign in 2011 showed us that making the data more visual and relevant to the user could attract a new audience to our content and ignite conversation, interest and sharing around the Census data – so long as we made it relevant to them.


Challenge: The Australian Bureau of Statistics wanted to raise awareness of the significance and importance of the latest Census data. But most people simply aren’t interested. Objectives: Show Australians just how valuable and relevant the Census data really is. Strategy: The best way to understand the true value of the Census data is to use it. So we decided to create content that would make people actively want to use the data. Execution: We took the Census data from every one of Australia’s more than 2,500 postcodes, and turned it into a game. Run That Town puts players in charge of their actual town, and tasks them with making decisions to keep their local population happy. The gameplay is unique in that it’s built on the real Census data of each postcode, putting that content in a relevant context for the player. The gameplay models the opinions and responses of the local citizens on actual Census data. This means players can use this information to make better informed and more popular decisions. By personalising the player’s experience with customised content and the real data from their own local area, Run That Town puts them in a scenario where the numbers are actually useful to them. It reveals interesting and surprising details about their own neighbourhood. And most of all, it turns dry, inaccessible numbers into something that feels useful, valuable and relevant to the player.

Run That Town was launched on the App Store in April 2013, and is supported by an ongoing PR and social campaign focussed on Facebook and Twitter, as well as paid mobile media. In-game functionality also promotes the sharing of content with the player’s social circles. And from a PR perspective, the Australian Bureau of Statistics continues to use the game to trigger conversations and raise public awareness of the importance of Census data.

Within days of launch the game was organically picked up and reviewed by various game blogs (including Gizmodo, Kotaku, Polygon, Pocket Gamer, Buzzfeed and CVG) causing an initial spike of over 7,500 downloads within a six day period, that saw the game leapfrog to number 1 in the Entertainment category and number 19 in the Top Free Apps chart on the Apple App store. Run That Town also made an impact in social media, with over two thousand interactions (shares, likes, comments, tweets, points) between Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram in that same six day period. Since this time Run That Town has been shared by players more than fifteen hundred times on Twitter alone, with 99.77% positive sentiment. The game has been reviewed on hundreds of blogs, featured on podcasts and national radio, will be announced as FWA Mobile of the Day on July 12, and is now scheduled to feature in a national TV show, giving the game and the Australian Bureau of Statistics further exposure. To date, more than 53,216 people have downloaded the game - and downloads are continuing to grow at a rate of more than 2,000 per day.


Name Company Position
Mark White Millipede Designer
Eclectic Music Machine Eclectic Music Machine Music
Keong Seet Leo Burnett Sydney Animator
Toby Pederson Freelance Animator
David Giuca Millipede Animator
Kevin Brown Leo Burnett Sydney Developer
Patrick Toohey Millipede Developer
Millipede Millipede Technology Partner/Company
Neil Duncan Leo Burnett Sydney Senior Business Manager
Paul Everson Leo Burnett Sydney Group Business Director
Adrian Gunadi Leo Burnett Sydney Producer
Kevin Brown Leo Burnett Sydney Technical Director
John-Henry Pajak Leo Burnett Sydney Illustrator
David Mugford Leo Burnett Sydney Designer
Ayla Norris-Smith Leo Burnett Sydney Copywriter
Kieran Ots Leo Burnett Sydney Copywriter
Zaid Al-Asady Leo Burnett Sydney Art Director
Kieran Ots Leo Burnett Sydney Art Director
Kieran Ots Leo Burnett Sydney Creative Director
Andy Dilallo Leo Burnett Sydney Chief Creative Officer