To sell a physical dictionary (Macquarie) in a digital world and remind people of its relevance.
People buy a dictionary once. They inscribe their name on the inside and use it as an occasional resource. Online websites with no authority or accountability have replaced most dictionaries.Their interpretation of language is fleeting, at best. So we needed to do two things. One: prove to people that a dictionary is still relevant. Two: demonstrate that a dictionary is something that needs to be updated.
Show how language evolves by giving birth to a word and following it from inception to adaptation. Unlike the dust gathering dictionary you’ve held onto from childhood, language has moved on. It’s alive.
We started the campaign by gathering experts in the language field to explore this notion of language evolution. Together they created a word, and the word was ‘Phubbing.’
Once the word was created the strategy was to seed it and document the journey as it ‘grew up.’ This involved a lengthy period of social media seeding (including a Facebook page, interactive website, twitter feeds and blogs). We also created downloadable assets to be used in cafes, weddings, or store fronts.
The word itself (meaning to snub someone in favour of using your phone) quickly caught on, and became its own viral sensation as news stations throughout the world promoted its use. Unbeknownst to them, they were helping to grow a new word, created with the sole purpose of demonstrating how language can so rapidly change.
Once the word took off an online filmwas created that documented the birth of the word, to its adoption into society, to explain the underlying purpose of the campaign.
The ‘Phubbing’ campaign attracted the attention of over 300 million people, with global media coverage to date at 600-plus TV, radio, press and online news outlets.