Category Archives: Advertising

Blind to Homelessness? Make Them Visible!

Carl Panzcak and his crew at Reactive NYC created this gem of a charity campaign together with Silver+Partners and Smuggler. It is a social experiment and campaign for making homelessness a more visible problem. Great work by our fellow team in New York, made me quite teary actually…

Check out Reactive’s work on where you can find some beautiful portraits of real homeless people in New York. And donate to help.


You can also read a couple of write ups on Creativity Online, Fast Company, Huffington Post and our own Reactive blog

mike akossou charles

This project initially began through our trip to the IAB Mixx Awards in New York with The Most Powerful Arm. As part of being over there, we hosted ‘Tomorrow Evening’, an event with the Reactive NYC crew where we presented our work and thinking. This event in turn created a personal connection to indie agency Silver + Partners which led to ‘Make Them Visible‘. I think it goes to show that you can’t quite know what will come out of hosting creative events. Except that you’ll always make a few interesting connections.


Agency: Silver + Partners
Production Company: Smuggler
Editing: Now Corporation
Audio House: Sound Lounge
Finishing/Titles: Suspect
Music: JSM 
Website: Reactive


Cannes Young Lions 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.57.26 AM

The Cannes Young Lions 2014 competition for creative teams under 28 has just opened (deadline is April 4). In past years, digital entry levels have unfortunately never  reflected the size of our industry or the depth of talent within it. I have been Chairman as well as juror of this competition and have seen and written about how teams have struggled to enter top quality work. The entry levels reached only 25% of the Print entries which in light of where the work is going, didn’t make any sense.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.57.18 AM

Reasons for it were twofold in my opinion. Firstly, it was (and still is) challenging to succinctly explain a digital campaign. Keeping the core idea separate from the complexity of execution is a skill that not every junior team has mastered yet. Secondly, the competition had until now required the teams to actually build their concepts. Which had to be in the format of display banners. This “smallest common denominator” approach led to a watering down of concepts. Teams entered what, according to their technical skill level, they thought they could actually build in Flash and HTML.

In 2014 it it is now no longer required to build the concept a.k.a. a display banner. This is going to broaden the scope of the ideas significantly, for both the local competition and the international version in Cannes, France. Reactive’s young ones in Melbourne and Sydney will challenge themselves to be among the best young digital creative teams in Australia. And I am looking forward to their results.

If you feel like you got what it takes, stop lurking behind your more senior colleagues. Enter, win, make your way to Cannes and take out the prize for best digital creative team in the world. But before you practice your acceptance speech, you should probably start by entering the first round before April 4:

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 3.48.56 PM

Content Marketing for WeightWatchers

Among our latest work at Reactive is fresh content marketing for WeightWatchers.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 10.58.30 AM

Understanding weight issues and weight loss as well as making healthier choices in your life has become a critical issue for Australians. By many statistics we rank as one the heaviest nations in the world. And that is tons away from our self-perceived ‘beach-bronzed surfer chicks and dudes’ ideal. Check out the various exercise tips, recipes and psychological advice in the University of Incredible or as a series of presentations on the WeightWatchers Slideshare account.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 11.44.43 AM

YouTube videos and live events like Google Hangouts and Twitter chats with WeightWatchers experts complement the offering.

6 in 6 - sneaky workouts at work-1 Why Stress Is Like A Ninja_16x9-22 Why Stress Is Like A Ninja_16x9-08 Flatter your figure-01 WWS036 - Awaken the Incredible You in Minutes_v015 Daily Distractions & Sneaky Saboteurs_v57 WWS036 - Breakfasts Not Borefests_v0216 WWS036 - Breakfasts Not Borefests_v024

Buzzfeed opens in Australia

Social content publisher Buzzfeed opens in Australia. Their new office with 3 writing staff will be creating content for and from Down Under. Which is good news for your social publishing ambitions.  Check their site if you aren’t familiar yet: . They also do serious politics coverage (like e.g. Vice does as well) and places where they opened earlier, like the UK, have noticed this branching out from pure social and entertainment:

Will have to correct the numbers below, as I am just writing this from memory. They rack up 2-3 million unique browsers in AU already and went from 2 to 10 million uniques and 22 writers in the UK in last year.


Keith Hernandez from BuzzFeed, spoke at our Creative Social Sydney  ( last night. Many thanks to Aaron Michie and ZenithOptimedia for putting it on. Here are my main take outs:

  • They measure  in ClickThroughRates, engagement (shares, comments, likes) and sentiment (positive, negative). I am sure there are deeper metrics to be analysed and potential actions you would like users to take (beyond reading and sharing)
  • Agencies like 1 Trick Pony, Barbarian Group or Mother are now training and employing brand copywriters to write specifically for places like Buzzfeed, tumblr etc.
  • Their stories derive their shareability from positivity, identity, the moment and (naturally) humour
  • Traffic from LinkedIn is rising (as LI is  aiming to raise their stickiness/return rates)
  • When brands go real-time content , they have been building and practicing (like Oreos) for a year (get brand right, approval processes in place, change culture)
  • When they covered the Grammys, it felt like a Saturday Night Live ‘writers pitch’ room
  • Brands should have a narrative arch over the whole year: VW for example turned the ‘Be Happy’ campaign motto into a SuperBowl ‘Let’s celebrate the loser city’ idea
  • And lastly: Our biggest competitor is ‘having a life’, the great outdoors – (originally said by the CEO of Reddit on a panel with Buzzfeed)


Additionally there is a (sold out) IAB event this Friday featuring  Andy Wiedlin, Buzzfeed’s Chief Revenue Officer. Some of our discussion afterwards revolved around the role of an agency in the process, how BuzzFeed’s Top10-lists and quizzes might evolve creatively, the culture you need to build for such a quick publishing model and how ‘Native Advertising’ has become the new ‘viral’ – most don’t quite know what it tis, but everyone wants it in their marketing mix.

8 AIMIA finalists for Reactive

2013 was a busy year for our teams all over the world – and it shows in the recent list of AIMIA Award finalists. Reactive has been shortlisted in eight categories for five separate projects. 8 finalists is already a cool result – if I’m not mistaken the best agency in the running. But to score those across 5 different projects means we are excelling within a broad range of digital : from mobile shopping apps, social media on the tablet, innovative use of on- and offline, to massive websites with strong retail and CRM functionality.

AIMIA, the Digital Industry Association for Australia, has represented the digital content, services and applications industry in Australia since 1992. Currently in it’s 20th year, the AIMIA Awards consistently recognise work of an exceptionally high standard. And this year’s shortlist is no different.


We’re extremely happy to have scored the following finalist nominations across a range of our work:

ANZ Buzz Sydney Festival

  • Best of Websites & Online Services – Cultural or Lifestyle


Coles Feed Your Family iPad App

  • Best of Tablet – Retail & eCommerce


Coles Supermarket Website

  • Best of Websites & Online Services – Retail & eCommerce


The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented 

  • Best Cross Platform
  • Best Digital Advertising or Communication – Government & Non-profit
  • Best of Websites & Online Services – Government & Non-profit
  • Best Social Media – Best Use of Social Media


Nissan Australia Website 

  • Best of Websites & Online Services – Retail & eCommerce


Please wish us luck and maybe see you on the night of April 3rd ?


Reactive needs your creative genius

Due to winning a few pitches for a line of cool brands  I am seeking some talented creatives to join us. Please head over to our application page if you are interested in making your mark at Reactive Sydney.

Last time I wrote about this topic I posted a (pretty average and black and white) group picture. But how about the same people on a boat, on a sunny day, cruising on Sydney Harbour? Totally different spiel, right? Ok, it was our Christmas party and not a regular Thursday night drinks, but still…

Reactive Sydney Christmas Part 03 Reactive Sydney Christmas Part 02 Reactive Sydney Christmas Part 01

At Reactive we love design, useful things and great creative content. And we are already pretty good at it, judging from the many international awards we keep winning like Cannes, Spikes, TheFWA, IAB or Webby.

We offer anyone who joins us a bloody awesome range of clients and projects.  I could further mention:

  • our independent ownership (no political bullshit)
  • 5 offices around the world with Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, New York, London (international career anyone?
  • our Sydney office’s perfect office location in the heart of Surry Hills (looking out the window counts as trend research)
  • the collaborative, thoughtful and friendly working style
  • and not least of all, a company-wide, 4 times a year Research & Development Day.

But in the end, it’s all about the work. Your work, our joint (hopefully award-worthy) results and what you want to specifically achieve in the future.

Have a look at the range below and click thorough some of the experiences. And if our work speaks to you, your ambitions and you think Reactive is the right place for you, then please drop us a line here:

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 3.28.18 PM

Reactivework10 Reactivework09 Reactivework08 Reactivework07 Reactivework01 Reactivework06 Reactivework05 Reactivework04 Reactivework03 Reactivework02

And here are two videos of myself speaking (at the Reactive office and at Ignite Sydney) pointing to the digital interface challenges of today. As we all feel on a daily basis,it’s all about The Touch now.

If you are convinced, have a click through and let us know about yourself and your work!

Gold at IAB Mixx Awards

Spending a week in our Reactive New York office was crowned last night by winning a Gold at the IAB Mixx Awards. With me was Emad, Director of Creative Technology at Finch, a long time collaborator and mate.


Here is the IAB’s award pageScreen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.17.01 PM

Next highlight here in New York will be our Reactive night out on Thursday. It will be held at co-working space AlleyNYC near Times Square and features Farrah Bostic, my colleague Carl and yours truly. If you are in New York please drop in and say hi: