Innocent takes jackpot £500,000 top prize. Monkey Shoulder, Lovehoney and the NHS also win media space

Three superb campaigns for drinks brands Innocent Drinks and Monkey Shoulder and the online adult retailer Lovehoney have been named the winners of Ocean Outdoor’s £1 million Crucial Creative Competition.

In a tightly fought contest, the judges have also awarded an additional fourth prize to NHS England. The winners were announced today (Thursday, July 30) in a live virtual ceremony.

Innocent takes the first prize, winning a generous £500,000 of Ocean advertising space for “Remember These?”, a smart, effective campaign which reminds people what they have been missing – or not – over the past few months be it wearing a suit, going outside in the sun, favourite places, shopping, the pubs, traffic jams, or popping out the office to get a smoothie.

Created in-house, Innocent’s campaign uses location specific photography and animated text in Innocent’s signature tone in a way that captures the essence of the Crucial Creative Competition and represents the art of great billboard copywriting.

There are two runners-up. £250,000 of screen space is awarded to blended malt whisky brand Monkey Shoulder and their agency OOH Tommy for The New Rules of Mixing.

A charming concept with a very clear commercial objective, this campaign addresses the severe problems facing the hospitality industry, one of the many dilemmas which inspired  the launch of the Crucial Creative Competition.

The second runner-up is Lovehoney for a campaign created by Brave. Playful, cheeky and liberating, Light Relief in Lockdown creates an open dialogue about the joy of relationships and fulfilling sex lives by using the language of lockdown. The copy leaves the viewer to find the joke, letting the logo do a lot of the work.

The fourth winner, an extra prize, goes to the NHS and MullenLowe London for We Are The NHS: LIVE an extraordinary live 24 hour event which celebrates the work of the NHS to encourage more young people to choose a career with the health service.

Announcing the winners, Ocean Outdoor joint managing director Phil Hall said:  “The aim of Ocean’s Creative Competition was to help rally advertisers, agencies and communities as Covid-19 begins to ease. It was an opportunity for brands and creative minds to create great work that was relevant and positive to help businesses overcome great uncertainty and people to emerge from lockdown with a greater sense of confidence.

“We weren’t too sure how many people would enter in such a short timeframe, but the response has been inspirational. Our winners have captured the spirit of the competition with great examples of human marketing and some of the best billboard copywriting we have seen in a while. We look forward to seeing their work help get the country and our communities back on their feet this summer.”

In total there were 140 entries which were judged by a 12 strong panel of industry experts. The winning campaigns will run throughout this summer.

The Crucial Creative Competition replaces Ocean’s long running annual digital creative contest which is postponed until 2021.

First Prize (£500,000 of media space)
Innocent Drinks – Remember This?
by Innocent Drinks

It’s hard to remember what life was like before everything blurred into a never-ending sequence of Zoom calls. A lot changed very quickly.

Innocent has responded with a great example of “human” marketing which will put a smile on people’s faces at a time when brands recognise that people are looking for light relief.

The judges recognised Innocent for smart, simple and pithy copy which captures the art of great billboard copy writing – a fabulous skill that’s seen less and less. Enhanced digitally to be location specific for every different location where the adverts will appear, this idea is very campaignable, very clear and very Innocent.


Runner Up (£250,000 of media space)
Monkey Shoulder – The New Rules of Mixing
by OOH Tommy (This is Tommy Ltd)

This idea scores points for being a hyper-localised campaign that is scalable and transferable across the entire out of home industry.

Using wit and charm to encourage people back into bars up and down the country, good copy writing makes sure that everyone stays safe by respecting the new Rules of Mixing, an art mastered by whisky brand Monkey Shoulder. Another nice touch is the gifting of the ad space to local bars and pubs, targeting footfall to nearby establishments, the bespoke copy topped off with a trial voucher.

The rest is up to the public.

Runner Up (£250,000 of media space)
Lovehoney – Light Relief in Lockdown
by Brave

It’s good to hear that lockdown has resulted in people having a more adventurous love life. This campaign combines great copy writing with an obvious understanding of the consumer based on some good research.

Focusing on the new vocabulary of social distancing, lockdown and masks, Brave has linked this to Lovehoney’s range of products to raise a smile and cheer us up. Some may find it risqué, but the judges felt it was both cheeky and grown-up without appearing smutty or crass, leaving the viewer to find the joke by letting the logo do a lot of the work.

Right on brief for brands entering the Crucial Creative Competition

Extra Prize (£250,000 of media space)
NHS England – We Are The NHS: LIVE
by MullenLowe London

The wonderful NHS is so much more than Covid-19 as this campaign shows. The idea is to inspire young people to consider a career in the NHS by celebrating extraordinary work with a truly big thank-you.

For the first time on digital out of home screens, the NHS opens its doors for a 24-hours only event showcasing in real time the amazing, inspiring work of staff across the health service every day of the year.

This broadcast will provide a live glimpse into what happens on wards, in GP surgeries and in people’s homes. Fractures being fixed, wounds being dressed. Patients being comforted. Chemotherapy appointments. Emergency caesareans. Emergency admissions. 490 breakfasts being prepared by catering staff, and more.

The event will be geo located using Ocean displays that are close to schools, colleges and universities, all natural recruiting grounds.