We all know that advertising is an industry that just refuses to sit still. While it can be hard to keep up, the sector’s relentless rate of innovation does serve as a positive spur for brands to continue evolving both their core values and key propositions. Adweek’s Project Isaac Awards is the industry forum conceived with the aim of celebrating genuine creative invention and how it can play a role in solving some intractable social issues. This year’s entries didn’t disappoint.
In the ‘Student’ category the winning entry focused on an innovative but simple bottle cap which has the potential to make a significant contribution to global water conservation efforts. The bottle cap can be attached to home water faucets – increasing water pressure and decreasing the amount of water used. Similarly, in the ‘Marketing’ category the winning entry focused on an ongoing environmental problem – pollution of our seas and oceans. Nemos everywhere are bearing the brunt of the heaps of rubbish that are discarded in coastal areas with the infamous six-pack plastic beer rings being identified as the main offender. Happily, the creative brains behind the winning entry managed to devise an alternative bit of packaging that is biodegradable, compostable and edible due to being made of leftover barley and wheat.
Another winning entry which shone with innovation was Posterscope’s ‘Mosquito Killer Billboard’. These clever special-build placements were designed to combat the increasingly prevalent Zika virus threat. They work by emitting lactic acid and carbon dioxide in a manner that mimics human perspiration and respiration, luring mosquitoes within a range of more than 1.5 miles. In less than 10 days the video of the billboards had amassed more than 100,000 views on YouTube along with major press coverage from outlets including the BBC and CNN.
These innovative examples serve as a welcome reminder that the advertising industry is about so much more than just those pesky banner ads. Our industry has some of the brightest minds on the planet and its extremely gratifying to see their creative talents being employed in the name of the common good. While inevitably we all have to pay the bills, its important that we don’t lose sight of the necessity to also pay it forward.
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