Advertising agency Canberra

The central requirement was always to engage and promote messages of fairness and equality for all – to the people of Tangalooma, Taree and beyond, not just Sydney’s Taylor Square. Advertising agency CanberraThe measure of success for the brand set by Tiernan Brady and his team was how widely it was adopted by the many diverse campaign groups, like-minded businesses and of course the broader community.

We needed to encourage discussion around the broader concept of equality, rather than the narrower discussion about the meaning of marriage itself. The campaign had not even started yet and the public were already showing signs of fatigue over the issue. Maintaining interest and motivation to vote were critical.

In the months that followed, the Yes campaign got into gear as the machinations of Canberra did its best to reframe the debate, move the goalposts and deny ordinary Aussies the tick boxes they had been promised. An enthusiastic group of agencies and production houses got onboard the Yes campaign to offer their creative services and facility favours.

Though, looking back at the assorted campaigns that rolled out during the lead up to the postal survey, it’s fair to say the work was, with very few exceptions, pretty average for what is such a powerfully emotive subject. When you look back at other landmark social issue ads such as the Grim Reaper commercial during the HIV/AIDS era, I am pretty sure none of us will be talking about any of this work in 30 years’ time.

Probably the biggest production for the Yes campaign showed a growing band of Aussies marching down to the local postbox to pop their envelopes in the slot. Though, even an appearance by Thorpie couldn’t lift the execution to match the emotional power of the Irish same-sex marriage referendum spot it was modelled on. It came down to like-minded big brands such as ANZ with its fantastic, ‘Hold tight’ campaign to deliver great and timely work.

One of the major and most polarising talking points of the campaign was the ‘Say No to No’ campaign. The concept was basically a petition to creative agencies, media companies, photographers and directors to not do any work promoting the NO campaign.

And this is where we get to the weird juncture in this story.

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