With over 18 years of experience in digital and marketing, Icon Awards asked us to join their judging committee and select the winner of the 'Best Marketing Campaign of the Year 2015' for this year's inaugural celebration. Recognising the achievements of everyone in the LGBTI community from local champions right through to celebrity ambassadors, the event is set to be a star-studded affair. With a continued focus on diversity we couldn’t be happier to be supporting The Icon Awards in establishing a presence in Scotland and beyond, whilst finding the stars who are shining brightest in the community.

Icon Award Judges - Best Marketing Campaign

Calling on our wider diversity experience and expertise in the marketing industry, we were delighted when the Icon team appointed us as their diversity and digital advisors. As well as being the awards official digital partner for the next two years (from web development through to social media and consultancy), our Senior Designer, Stephen Kay was invited to join the impressive  judging committee - he couldn’t be happier.

We're delighted to be listed amongst some incredible companies as headline partners including The Sunday Herald, Absolut Vodka, the RAF, Kiehl's Skincare, Tartan Partnerships and Waverley Care.

This Friday the awards do will honour all the finalists and winners of the coveted Icon Awards, and our Cat Leaver and Stirland Martin will be presenting our winner for 'Marketing Campaign of the Year'. What's more, we've also put our votes in for the other 15 categories and can't wait to congratulate a very impressive list of winners.

The finalists in the Marketing Campaign of the Year Awards are (in alphabetical order only):

  • Gilead & HepC.co.uk - ChemSex
  • LGBT Youth Scotland - SHH!
  • Lush - #GayIsOK
  • Pride Glasgow - #BeHappy
  • Stonewall Scotland - Rainbow Laces
Marketing Finalists - Icon Awards

ChemSex - Gilead Sciences

With the aim of educating the LGBTI community about the risks of chemsex and Hepatitis C (HCV), this campaign was made up of a series of mini awareness campaigns. Beginning with push notifications in the popular app Grindr, which notified users about potential risks of infection, the campaign continued with an event at a Soho cinema aimed at raising awareness for HCV with the aim of de-stigmatising it. Following this, a third campaign ran throughout the UK press with a targeted media strategy on how to avoid HCV risks and stylised artwork. This campaign then inspired the LGBTI press to run 8 editorials across four magazines on the disease and it’s risks. This is just the beginning of the campaign, with Gilead working hard to continue this momentum and build ongoing awareness.

SHH! - LGBT Youth Scotland

Developed specifically to raise awareness of homophobia in Scottish schools, this campaign aimed to give a call to action to teachers, parents and young people asking them to ‘Stand Up and Shout Out’ against homophobia. The original ideas for a film was created by the Fife LGBT Youth trust and then later created into an award-winning short film. Reaching audiences across central Scotland, the campaign video reached more than 208,000 views and was awarded the Institute of Internal Communication’s best audio visual stakeholder communication award. An impressive feat for a campaign run on a tight budget.

#GayIsOK - Lush

The #GayIsOK campaign was launched by global soap aficionados Lush in partnership with the All Out charity to raise awareness and support around LGBT issues - this campaign aimed to raise £250,000 through sales of the aptly named 'Love Soap' which featured the campaign hashtag #GayIsOK. This campaign saw 825 Lush stores worldwide ask their customers ‘What if your love was illegal?’ and encouraged them to post selfies with the gold Love Soap. The message on this soap makes it illegal to sell in over 80 Lush shops in countries with anti-gay laws - a fact that the company has widely publicised along with its central campaign to tackle the issue. Launched in over 40 countries around the world, Lush sold 107,479 soaps and raised over £250,000, which it has now promised to grass root LGBT charities to support their development. You can watch the campaign video here.

#BeHappy - Pride Glasgow

The main aim of this campaign was to encourage the community to engage with and use the #BeHappy hashtag in the build up to the main Pride Glasgow event. The imagery created for the campaign was designed to fulfil the key feeling of happiness, joy and excitement and later extended to the volunteer programme to promote a healthier, happier body and mind. Creating the Pride Guide, posters, flyers, handbooks, social media images as well as adverts in popular gay magazines, the #BeHappy hashtag was utilised throughout spreading the word about the festival and ultimately portraying the key messages to everyone at the Glasgow Pride event; 'be happy to be in a country where you can show love for your partner without fear of imprisonment or physical punishment’.

#RainbowLaces - Stonewall

Created by Stonewall Scotland, the aim of the #RainbowLaces campaign was to tackle the recurring issue of homophobia in football. After sending thousands of pairs of rainbow laces to professional and amateur footballers across the UK in 2014, over 100,000 pairs of laces have now been sent on to schools, universities, leagues and clubs and a huge 30% of the UK population have seen the campaign. Stonewall hoped this campaign would tackle those young people who are especially vulnerable to homophobia in sport, bringing the message home that "we don't care what team you play for".

The Main Event

Taking place at Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza this Friday the 9th of October, the event boasts a number of celebrity guests including Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst, Ru Paul judge Michelle Visage, Comedian Rhona Cameron and Presenter Bruce Devlin to name but a few.

With our gladrags looked out, the team are super excited for the sold-out awards this Friday and can't wait to announce the winner of this year's Marketing Campaign Award. You can find us at the official after party also and we'll be sure to keep you all updated with the latest surprises and treats to come: #TheTimeIsNow

Find out more about the initial stages of our work with the Icon team in our in-depth case study here.