Short List
Product / ServiceDICTIONARY
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

The Campaign

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. To do this we sought to find a global problem so recent, there wasn’t a word for it yet. Then invent that word, and show that a single word has the power to change everything. The problem was poor smartphone manners. The word we created was ‘Phubbing: ignoring the person in front of you in favour of your smartphone.’ We launched the word, then used it to spark a social movement. And then with media and public discussion of Phubbing at its peak, we released a branded short film about the origin of the word, to launch the 6th edition of the Macquarie Dictionary. The campaign received unbelievable traction, earning 435 million PR impressions and reaching 3.6 million Australians.

Success of the Campaign

The campaign received global coverage and critically, 3.6 million Australians could link the word to its definition. Additionally, the campaign: • Was discussed in 180 countries via social media and covered by 750+ news outlets in 50 countries • Earned 435 million PR impressions • Attracted over 27,000 fans on Facebook • Was covered by news outlets such as the USA’s ABC network, Time magazine, the BBC, China Daily, Grazia, and every major Australian outlet. The editor of the dictionary even spent 10 minutes on breakfast television.

Describe how the campaign/entry was launched and executed across each channel in the order of implementation.

A website explained the mission behind Stop Phubbing, which included tongue and cheek statistics, and materials to empower people to make it their own. Materials were also provided for businesses and restaurants to discourage phubbing like posters and coasters. Eventually, branded merchandise like T-shirts were created, and we even provided help to people wanting to hold phubbing ‘interventions’. Supporting the site was our Facebook community, which encouraged people to name and shame phubbers they know. The page became a place where people shared phubbing experiences and debate when phubbing is, or is not acceptable. At the height of interest in the campaign, and timed with the launch of Macquarie’s 6th edition, we revealed the origin of the word through a branded short film: Phubbing, A Word is Born. After its release, we reconnected with the masses of news outlets that covered Phubbing, to re-engage them with the dictionary’s story.