Award Category
Best Collaboration

McCann Melbourne

University of Melbourne

Collaborating Partners
Adshel, Airbag Productions


Despite being rated the #1 university in Australia, most people were unaware of the impact of The University of Melbourne’s (UOM) research internationally. Attracting research was becoming increasingly difficult with cuts to funding so a shift in perception from a teaching institution to a research-intensive establishment that delivered global impact was needed. The target audience was affluent, university-educated, 30-60 year-old research partners and employers. The objective – to reach one million-plus views on UOM’s online research content; achieve a 10% increase in awareness of its research reputation; and inspire 30% of the audience to take action. With a free city-wide exhibition, people would be open to receiving messages.


In collaboration with McCann, Adshel and Airbag Productions, glass cabinets at bus and tram shelters were turned into 3D modules of branded content. Each cabinet housed one of 14 museum exhibit-type stories that brought aspects of research about global welfare to life. For example, the exhibit promoting food that doesn’t waste water was filled with water, demonstrating the amount required to produce one single corn cob. The target audience was living and working within 20 km of the CBD so the campaign was anchored there. Audiences and key businesses were mapped to media placements for key exhibits to be placed in these areas.


Within two weeks, reach was 44 million globally through PR, in 22 international media outlets, and 1.04 million hits on the online content hub. 34% of the audience changed their perception of UOM and 39% (+9%) agreed the university had the best reputation for research. There was a 17.9% increase in the audience associating the uni with the heaviest investment in research. Paid activity drove 1.02 million social interactions on the Facebook campaign, and the campaign website recorded 93,720 sessions during one month, a jump up of 56.94% from the month prior. Foot traffic reached 3.2 million, one in three Melburnians said the campaign changed their opinion of the uni while the exhibition led to an 80% increase in commercial research enquiries.

Judges Comments

Beautifully executed, and engaging. This strategy was articulated well and the collaboration was evident. Clear demonstration of great results directly attributed to this campaign.