Herald Safer Sydney Ad Challenge attracts nearly 1500 entries

In the first week of 2014, after a spate of alcohol-fuelled violence in Sydney, the Herald challenged readers to be part of the solution.

While maintaining pressure on the O’Farrell government to take action on the issue – something the Premier has since done – we also launched the Herald Safer Sydney Ad Challenge.

The idea was that the culture of a society can be swayed by grass-roots movement at the bottom, as well as from leaders at the top.

Our challenge to readers was to design a poster or 30-second video advertisement aimed at curbing the prevalence of alcohol-related violence in Sydney.

The response has been staggering. Nearly 1500 entries were received by the cut-off date of February 21, some from professional designers, others from schoolchildren hoping to make a difference.

Crowd-sourced design website DesignCrowd came on board with the Challenge in February, doubling the total prize money on offer to $5000, and launching an affiliated competition to their audience which has seen entries come in from as far as Britain, the Philippines, Greece, Azerbaijan, Jamaica and Romania.

The large number of entries is sure to keep busy the expert panel of judges, who will gather on Monday, March 3 to decide the Challenge winners.

Included on the judging panel are advertising and design executives, an award-winning short film maker, and a family touched directly by alcohol-related violence.

Their brief is to pick the best ad to speak to a target audience of young people going out, in particular young men. The winning entry will be one that:speaks to the target market; is geared towards changing people’s mindsets and/or behaviours around alcohol-related violence;has the capacity to go viral;is suitable for use in a mainstream media advertising campaign.

First prize for the Herald Challenge is $2500. The DesignCrowd competition, which will be judged simultaneously, also has a total prize pool of $2500. The winning designs will be featured in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper and website.

Included on the judging panel are Rob and Claudia McEwen, the father and sister of Michael McEwen, who was bashed in Bondi in December; Leigh Bignell, Executive Business Director, Ogilvy & Mather; Josephine Sabin, Community Manager, DesignCrowd; Matt Hardie, 2013 Tropfest winner; and Judith Whelan, News Director, Sydney Morning Herald.

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