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Think HQ welcomes Michael Knox as new ECD

Australia – Purpose-driven integrated communications agency Think HQ has appointed Michael Knox, former executive creative director at News Corp Australia, to step into the newly created role of executive creative director, as part of the agency’s strategic evolution to significantly expand its creative capabilities.

In his new role, Knox will be working across all disciplines and teams at Think HQ to push and elevate the work, creating famous campaigns on any channel, and leading and mentoring people. He will also be working closely with clients.

During his over 25 years in the industry, Knox has worked across some of the world’s most widely recognised brands and campaigns including TAC’s Ungiven Gifts, MS Australia This Bike has MS, and Hong Kong Tourism Board Reframing Hong Kong. He is also the co-host of the popular podcast, The Imposterous, where he and Graham Drew explore the idea that the world’s most respected creative professionals suffer pangs of inadequacy that can either stifle their potential brilliance or protect them from mediocrity.

Aside from his previous role at Roller, Knox was also the CCO of Grey Australia for six years before moving to Grey Group Hong Kong for three years where as CCO he was responsible for improving the creative product and strategic reputation of Grey Group Greater China. He has also held senior creative roles at Ogilvy Melbourne and was ECD for six years.

Commenting on his appointment, Knox said, “Think HQ is an incredible business. It is uniquely positioned to create the type of work that’s needed to be effective today. Its purpose first beliefs, inclusive approach to creativity and desire to only make work that has a positive impact in culture is something I’m strongly aligned with and looking forward to being part of.”

Meanwhile, Jen Sharpe, Think HQ’s founder and managing director, commented that they are thrilled to have Knox join the Think HQ team, not only because he is one of the best in the business, but because his appointment moves us a step closer to achieving one of the boldest and most exciting goals I have for our agency.

“Our creative offering is already exceptional, and with Michael on board, we are confident that we can take that to the absolute next level and evolve the agency into very exciting territory,” said Sharpe.

Andy Lima, Think HQ’s group head of creative, production, and digital, said, “Michael brings world-class experience, aligned values, and shares our commitment to producing creative work with a conscience. I’m very much looking forward to working together as we redefine the role of creativity in delivering positive change, both with our clients and across the Think HQ group, collaborating with all our business units.”

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Think HQ launches ‘Shower Shorter. Save Water’ campaign for Yarra Valley Water

Victoria, Australia Australian integrated communications agency Think HQ launched “Shower Shorter. Save Water” campaign for Yarra Valley Water that aims to remind Victorians that conserving water and saving money in the process, is easier than we think. 

The series of campaign videos features Melburnians being encouraged to take a closer look at their time spent in the shower and consider creative ways to shave down those minutes. The creative taps into the relatively young target audience’s sense of fun, using 3D modelling and animation to bring to life five innocently unaware characters who get distracted in the shower; performing a ballad, daydreaming of unicorns, meditating to unwind, brainstorming how to solve big problems, and dancing it out. 

Think HQ Group Head of Creative, Andy Lima, said,“The shower is the space where we love to relive moments and memories, make to-do lists, win arguments, or practice karaoke. But when we indulge in some extended ‘me time’ under the running water, we waste a precious resource. Our campaign plays on those bathroom time distractions, reminding people to save them for when water isn’t literally going down the drain.” 

The digital and social led Shower Shorter campaign aims to encourage people to shorten their showers from an average of 7 to 4 minutes. The campaign asks people to take their entertaining or relaxing activities elsewhere in a light-hearted jest at our rather ridiculous looking shower antics. This can then help to save an average of $200 a year on water and energy bills, or 24 Litres of water per shower. With the tagline “Shower Shorter. Save Water”, the campaign is supported through above the line channels, including large format outdoor and street furniture, Spotify and podcasts, digital display, social media (including in-language social), and YouTube. 

It targets bill-paying customers aged under 35 who are conscious of their water usage and/or those who have a strong emotional connection to their showering experience. 

Yarra Valley Water Senior Campaign Specialist, Ryan Jamieson, commented, “The campaign aims to educate customers on the impacts showers have on household water consumption, as the months get cooler, our time in the shower tends to get longer. With showers currently making up an average of 31 per cent of a typical household’s water use, it is an important reminder to our customers, that small changes such as shortening your shower can make a big difference individually and collectively.”

The campaign is part of Melbourne’s largest retail water utility’s new brand strategy that puts people first and focuses on creating a brighter future for communities, the natural environment and innovation.

The campaign is part of Melbourne’s largest retail water utility’s new brand strategy that puts people first and focuses on creating a brighter future for communities, the natural environment and innovation. It will run across Melbourne, within Yarra Valley Water’s catchment area.

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Yarra Valley Water’s campaign puts focus to customers who struggle to keep up with the bills

Victoria, Australia – In a campaign that puts the customer first and on the spotlight, the latest campaign by water retail company Yarra Valley Water aims to promote their WaterCare program, designed to identify and support vulnerable customers and those facing financial hardship.

Conceptualised by integrated communications agency Think HQ, the campaign addresses the barriers customers face in accessing financial support, including low awareness of available options, and aims to overcome the stigma associated with asking for help by normalising conversations about bill payment options.

Using the tagline, ‘Whatever position you’re in, we’re here to help’, the creative aims to raise awareness of Yarra Valley Water’s WaterCare support program, drive proactive engagement among customers struggling to pay their bill, and build trust in the Yarra Valley Water brand.

Pat McCafferty, managing director for Yarra Valley Water, said WaterCare is all about helping customers through dedicated support and tailored solutions to suit individual needs, with the utility assisting customers to claim over AU$52m in concession discounts over the past 12 months.

Working in collaboration with data services and credit reporting provider Experian, Think HQ drew on data science and machine learning algorithms to build predictive models around payment behaviours to refine campaign messaging and segmentation to reach the customers that would most benefit from support. 

Andy Lima, head of creative at Think HQ, said, “The research showed many customers who were struggling with bills didn’t know about the support or rebates that are available to them. This highly targeted campaign is designed to turn that around by reaching the people who will benefit most from accessing the support and rebates they may have been missing out on until now.”

Reflecting the broad customer base of Melbourne’s largest retail water utility, creative was also designed to reach a range of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities including Arabic, Greek, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese, as well as First Nations peoples and concession card holders.

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Think HQ to now include experiential capabilities, unveils two key hires

Australia Purpose-driven integrated communications agency Think HQ has expanded its offering to include experiential capabilities with the addition of Emma Keatch to the senior leadership team as events and activations head.

Keatch joins Think HQ with 20 years of experience in events, brand activations, strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and marketing, including jobs at L’Oreal as events & artistry manager and Priceline as head of events and sponsorships. She has also served as a senior advisor on major events for Victoria’s Department of Education and Training and has led huge teams for the Victoria Racing Club and the Australian Radio Network on events, activations, and campaigns.

In the newly created role, Keatch will be in charge of the agency’s constantly expanding events and activations business offering. Hitting the ground running, Keatch has already brought on events and activations expert, Hayley Mitchell as events & activations manager. Mitchell has been the logistical and operational heart of a host of beloved large Melbourne events over many years, including Royal Croquet Club and The Fitzroy Mills Market.

Working alongside Broadsheet and Taboo Group through her own business REDTape, Mitchell has produced bespoke events for brands including MECCA, Haagen-Dazs, Nike, Brown Brothers and Mercedes Benz. Her focused approach to excellence in execution cuts through the hard work and paperwork to allow her client’s creativity to breathe. During the 2020/21 lockdown, Mitchell took on the ambitious task of managing the renovation of an iconic hospitality venue Ponyfish Island.

Keatch and Mitchell have already embarked on their first project for Think HQ – the enchanted forest-themed COVID-19 vaccination hubs for five-to-11-year-olds across Melbourne.

Keatch shared, “I am elated to have stepped into this role with such a forward-thinking and purpose-driven business. I relish the opportunity to support the Think HQ team to continue to create meaningful experiences and real positive connections. It goes without saying, I also feel terribly lucky to embark on this journey with the very talented Hayley Mitchell and look forward to seeing the magic we can create as a team.”

Jen Sharpe, founder and managing director of Think HQ, commented, “Over the years, Think HQ has run numerous events for a range of clients, so the creation of our experiential arm felt like a natural next step. We have had a keen interest in the offering from clients already, and I couldn’t ask for a more talented, creative, and experienced leader than Emma.”

She added, “I’m thrilled to have these two exceptional pros join Think HQ to spearhead our experiential team. Emma and Hayley’s proven capabilities will be invaluable as we continue to deliver integrated, powerful, and purposeful experiences that build deep connections and create positive social impact for clients and consumers alike.”

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Think HQ’s newly created role to ensure indigenous people’s representation in creative campaigns

Australia – Purpose-driven integrated communications agency Think HQ has appointed Professor Shane Hearn, former pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Adelaide, to be part of its leadership team and assume the newly created role of head of first nations engagement and communication.

The appointment aims to support and encourage greater participation by Indigenous people in the industry, and ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are included in all agency communications and activities.

Hearn brings with him extensive experience across higher education and health, where his leadership has delivered powerful positive outcomes for First Nations people. His insights into Aboriginal culture and engagement have shaped campaigns, academic programs, and the way organizations engage with Australia and its people. 

Hearn has previously worked as the director of Indigenous-owned firm CultureLink Consultancy, where he developed the NSW Health Aboriginal Strategic Framework for the prevention and management of chronic disease in Aboriginal Communities, and as the practice leader at specialist Indigenous communications company Cox Inall Ridgeway, where he designed and led the rollout of the Federal Department of Health’s Live Longer campaign.

In his new role, Hearn will be responsible for leading and building Think HQ’s First Nations Engagement and Communication function. He will also be providing insight to First Nations audiences and connect them to the agency’s work to ensure experiences are centered and the Indigenous audience is included in campaigns.

Commenting on his appointment, Hearn said that he is delighted to join the Think HQ team that is truly providing the Australian community with a platform for meaningful engagement across so many areas. 

“The agency is doing powerful work in the equity and inclusive communications space and the clear alignment in our shared values will allow us to expand our work to a First Nation’s audience. During Reconciliation Week, I’m reflecting on the need to drive action, not just rhetoric. Think HQ is living up to that ideal, and I’m confident we will achieve a lot together,” said Hearn.

Meanwhile, Think HQ’s Founder and Managing Director Jen Sharpe shared that Hearn’s appointment would ensure First Nations Australians are represented in everything the agency does, internally and externally.

“We are so excited to welcome Shane to the Think HQ team. His credentials in the space of First Nations engagement are second to none and he has made tangible, positive improvements in people’s lives. He will play a vital, active role in our work, ensuring we’re true including First Nations people in every campaign we produce. We’re so lucky to have him join us,” said Sharpe.

In March this year, Think HQ, together with Australia’s government agency WorkSafe Victoria, launched the ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse’ (CALD) campaign, with the aim to deliver safety messages to workers and employers for the celebration of Cultural Diversity Week.

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WorkSafe’s campaign for Cultural Diversity Week empowers Victorian workers via safety messages

Australia – WorkSafe Victoria, Australia’s government agency that enforces health and safety in Victorian workplaces, has launched the ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse’ (CALD) campaign, in an aim to deliver safety messages to workers and employers for the celebration of Cultural Diversity Week.

The CALD campaign, which is done in partnership with communications agency Think HQ, was delivered in 19 different languages other than English to reach multicultural communities throughout Victoria.

The campaign was released on 21 March and was rolled out on  radio, online, and social, as well as OOH, with targeted outdoor creative matches to reflect the language most spoken in specific geographic locations. Furthermore, this is the first campaign implemented by Impulse Network, the creative arm of outdoor media company QMS Media. 

Think HQ was responsible for translating layouts and recordings into the different languages.  The agency also produced video case studies and animations in multiple languages, and in-language media releases, as well as managed the launch event with an online CALD panel for community leaders – business owners and workers from multicultural communities.

Julie Nielsen, the executive director of health and safety at Worksafe, believes the campaign will make a meaningful difference in ensuring employers and workers understand their health and safety rights no matter what their cultural background or language.

Meanwhile, Jen Sharpe, the founder and managing director of Think HQ, commented that it is a privilege for them to work with a client like WorkSafe on a campaign that recognizes the importance of reaching all Victorians.

“As an inclusive mainstream creative agency focused on social good, we are proud to have produced such an impactful piece of work that reaches many diverse audiences,” added Sharpe.