Short List
Product / ServiceDICTIONARY
CategoryA08. Digital Design
Production Company AIRBAG PRODUCTIONS Melbourne, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
John Mescall McCann Melbourne Executive Creative Director
Pat Baron McCann Melbourne Creative Director
John Mescall McCann Melbourne Copywriter
Natasha Wood McCann Melbourne Copywriter
Pat Baron McCann Melbourne Art Director
Matthew Stoddart McCann Melbourne Art Director
Dave Budd McCann Melbourne Designer
Nath Mallon McCann Melbourne Senior Editor
Adrian Mills McCann Melbourne Group Account Manager
Alec Hussain McCann Melbourne Account Director
Alex Haigh Mccann Melbourne Account Executive
John Mescall McCann Melbourne Strategy
Adrian Mills McCann Melbourne Strategy
Pauline Mcmillan McCann Melbourne Digital Producer
Chelsea Nieper McCann Melbourne Agency Producer
Jake McLennan Other Contributors
Danielle Milazzo Other Contributors

Brief Explanation

In the age of Google, dictionaries are at risk of becoming obsolete. Ultimately, for Macquarie to remain relevant in the long term, we needed to inspire people to want to engage with them, not because they needed a dictionary, but because they wanted one. Our key objective was to generate social discussion both online and offline around the launch of the 6th edition of the Macquarie Dictionary. Awareness of dictionaries is universal. Relevance was severely lacking. Our challenge was to get people talking about something they thought was a thing of the past.

The Brief

We were asked by Australia’s national dictionary, The Macquarie, to remind people of the relevancy of the dictionary in an age when such things are getting left behind. Specifically, they wanted social media engagement in the lead-up to the launch of their upcoming new edition.

How the final design was conceived

We looked at recent entries to all major English-language dictionaries, a notable portion of which were tech-orientated. It was evident that to tap into contemporary culture, we needed to arm ourselves with not just a word, but also a movement. We created ‘Phubbing: ignoring the person in front of you in favour of your smartphone.’ We launched the word and sparked a social movement. And then with media and public discussion of Phubbing at its peak, we revealed through media and pr the origin of the word, to launch the 6th edition of the Macquarie Dictionary.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

Phubbing became, not a fake ‘forced’ marketing word, but a genuine part of modern language. And as such, ‘Phubbing: A Word is Born’ was a living, breathing demonstration of the power, beauty and importance of words. From a statistical standpoint, the campaign smashed all expectations. The editor of the dictionary even spent 10 minutes on breakfast television. • The phenomenon was discussed in over 180 countries via social media • Stop Phubbing attracted +28,000 Facebook likes • Stop Phubbing website attracted over 290,000 visits • +750 news outlets in 50 countries covered the campaign, generated 435 million PR impressions and reaching 3.6 million Australians.