Best international campaign 2015 Article icon



Agency: Man Bites Dog

Last year global business Arcadis, which describes itself as offering ‘design and consultancy for natural and built assets’, identified cities as offering a major opportunity for growth, but recognised that it had little brand awareness in the urban arena outside existing client relationships.

Agency Man Bites Dog was appointed to promote Arcadis’ sustainability and urban planning services while overcoming three specific challenges. Sustainability fatigue meant that the campaign needed to identify a fresh angle in a well-worn area. The campaign also needed to be globally relevant while reflecting specific local challenges.

And the campaign needed to inspire action in a hard-to-reach group, notably city planners, executives and policy makers.

Man Bites Dog’s strategy was to benchmark the performance of 50 urban environments in relation to people and profit, as well as the planet. The Centre for Economics and Business Research explored each of these demands to develop an indicative ranking of the world’s leading cities.

Frankfurt led the world in the overall rankings, coming just ahead of London and Copenhagen. The Sustainable Cities Index reframed the debate around urban sustainability, but by grounding the campaign in rich data, developing rankings that enabled city-by-comparisons and global contrasts, as well as examining 20 indicators of sustainability in depth, the index provided clear areas of improvement and practical solutions.

Man Bites Dog created a global narrative around the data, telling the story in an impactful and relevant way. Using multimedia content, the agency generated worldwide interest in the study by proving that global cities fail to balance the three pillars of sustainability. An online hub was also created to host a 32 page white paper, animated videographic and infographic, which also allowed viewers to examine the data in detail and create city-by-city comparisons.

The Sustainable Cities Index generated 350 items of coverage around the world, including more than 120 in Asia Pacific, more than 50 in the Middle East and 70 across Europe.

More than 50,000 unique users from 30 countries visited the website in just six weeks, and more than 6,000 copies of the report were downloaded, more than 900 per cent above expectations.

The campaign allowed Arcadis to ‘own’ the 360 degree sustainable view of global cities, and the consultancy is now credited with leading the fi eld of urban sustainability. The report has also opened the door to business conversations, and boosted its sales pipeline by more than $24 million.

The judges said: ‘This campaign had a clear strategy and objectives. It was an extremely innovative way of highlighting Arcadis’ work. It was truly international and has great future potential.’