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The 27th Annual Webby Awards November 21, 2022

In Conversation with R/GA, 2022 Webby Agency of the Year

We spoke with R/GA about how they continue to push the boundaries in advertising, and being named the 2022 Webby Agency of the Year.

Digital product and marketing agency R/GA won the 2022 Webby Agency of the Year award after achieving great success — they walked away with seven wins, six nominations and four honors. With roots as a computer-assisted filmmaking company, R/GA uses design and technology to innovate on behalf of their clients. 

That resolve to innovate led to creating standout work, like the For Every Body AR retail experience, made in collaboration with Nike. Through a customized Snapchat AR lens, the project reimagined mannequins, at a Nike store in Massachusetts, as digital models of local women, to show how the clothes look and move on real bodies of all shapes. Doritos Duet Roulette, a gamified TikTok challenge to relaunch Doritos’ special spicy chip flavor, also caught judges’ attention. 

The Webby Awards spoke to Tiffany Rolfe, Global Chief Creative Office and Ellie Bamford, Global Head of Media + Communications at R/GA about executing their biggest campaigns and how they stay inspired.

Lead the way with technology 

After spending many years in the industry, Rolfe turns to technology as inspiration, and a guide for the direction of R/GA’s work. 

“There is certainly caution and at times fear when it comes to technology,” explains Rolfe. “The only way to ensure that it leads to a good place is to be in front experimenting with it and shaping it into the new creations and experiences that we want it to be. Don’t just sit around to wait and see what happens.”

It was this attitude that helped the R/GA team create standout work on behalf of clients like Sephora, Uber, Verizon and Nike. The latter being like the For Every Body AR retail experience. Through a customized AR lens, they reimagined mannequins at a Nike store in Massachusetts, as digital models of local women, to show how the clothes look and move on real bodies. Multi-channel campaign “Black Beauty is Beauty” for Sephora also caught judges’ eyes. It used an SEM hack to help Sephora reclaim Black beauty. 

While these projects seem disconnected, Rolfe sees them as examples of their ultimate purpose: to design businesses and brands for a more human future. 

“Using search to address unintentional bias, community influencers to alleviate fears around vaccination, virtual experiences to keep people connected during the lockdown, and AR to imbue the shopping experience with more inclusivity,” she expanded. “It’s technology in the service of humanity.

R/GA's Award-winning Work

Doritos - Duet Roulette
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Doritos - Duet Roulette

Sephora - Black Beauty is Beauty
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Sephora - Black Beauty is Beauty

Nike - For Every Body
3/4

Nike - For Every Body

Uber - Vaccinate the Block
4/4

Uber - Vaccinate the Block

Tackle the biggest story of the year. It might pay off 

The R/GA team embraces the biggest challenges and great opportunities. This became clear in early 2021 while working on a campaign for Reddit, a somewhat new client at the time, with an ambition to bring community and belonging to everyone in the world. 

After they launched a campaign to demonstrate the power of Reddit communities, a real-world example suddenly unfolded. The now infamous r/wallstreetbets community  noticed the GameStop (GME) was being shorted by hedge funds and acted on it. As the story dominated news cycles, R/GA felt the responsibility as marketers to help their client meet the moment in a big way. 

“We discussed a bunch of ideas, but there was just one that was “brilliantly absurd” enough to meet the moment,” said Bamford. “But could we possibly pull off a Superbowl ad just seven days before the game? With no production budget, no time, no media yet, we were underdogs in our own right.”

Reddit - Superb Owl

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2/2

A simple, five-second ad flashed on viewer’s screens: an ode to Reddit community in the form of a jpeg. R/GA knew it would be shared by the Reddit community, and that at-home viewers would pause their televisions to read the copy. Even better, they kept the spot a secret from Press, making it a true surprise.

The brilliant absurdity of it all worked. It was picked by the New York Times for best ad, and received 6.5 billion impressions for 1/10th the average cost of a Super Bowl ad, Bamford noted. 

This wild success was another example of R/GA’s belief that execution is the most crucial step in their creative process. “You can have the most brilliant idea the world has ever known, but if you execute it poorly, or it’s a death by a thousand paper cuts, it’s invisible,” said Rolfe.

 

To join the ranks of 2022 Webby Agency of the Year, R/GA, enter The Webby Awards. The Final Entry Deadline is on Friday, December 16th. 

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