In 2017, ACS launched a print, display and broadcast ad campaign highlighting the importance of bringing young people into the technology sector. The campaign proved to be a success, and in 2018 ACS is running an extension to this campaign with a slightly more grown-up superhero girl accompanied by two youngsters from the next generation of tech superstars.

With the campaign now live across Australia on TV and radio, along with display ads in airports and on public transport, we speak to the creative director of the campaign, Kate Grabowski.

Tell us about how the campaign started

I was only new with ACS and we had wanted to create a campaign that focused on empowering young people into technology. As a team we had been discussing how to make a campaign that focused on the future. Throughout history kids have loved superheroes – Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman – so it made sense to have a hero as the focus of our campaign.

In the past we had focused more on people already in the sector, however we know we need to encourage more people to join the tech world, so this creative made perfect sense. We have always highlighted inspiring stories – like that of Max who you may have seen on previous ads – and I wanted our creative to match that drive to inspire. That’s where our super girl campaign really began – as a drive to inspire.

Why did you like the hero girl image?

She came across to me as someone who was leaping into the future and looking to change the world. It really embodied everything we wanted to say, and I was excited to make it the visual backbone of the campaign. Extending it this year has been really fun. We have gone from a generic image to having an actual live superhero girl in our campaign, and it was amazing to see the creative vision coming to life.

Moving to 2018 – the campaign has changed quite a bit. What was the thinking behind the new visuals?

This year our little girl has grown up, and in the first iteration of this campaign she is encouraging the next generation to be involved with technology – specifically the little boy and girl we have used in our ads. There is also a focus on creating technology rather than just using it. You can see in the ad that the kids are seeing virtual buildings like a new bridge, or creating and visualising a new aeroplane.

The images were photographed from ACS’ offices in Barangaroo and onsite at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background so that we convey we’re uniquely Australian.

The idea is to get parents and children excited about the future and what technology has to offer.

You’re a young woman working in tech – what does this campaign mean to you?

I’m proud of the work. It’s such large-scale advertising and the fact that we are depicting young children – males and females – signifies a shift from the old mentality of who is working in tech. It’s interesting because women have always been interested in technology, but it hasn’t been shown.

You don’t see much advertising for the technology sector, and what you see is mainly product and still images. This campaign shows real people in a modern setting focussing on the future. We have gone past the idea of tech as someone sitting at a computer which was an old look. Tech is new and vibrant and innovative, and I think this campaign is all those things.

What in your life has provided inspiration for this campaign?

I’m not by any stretch a tech geek. Yes, in one part of my life I am a woman working in tech – but I also play footy, love the outdoors and going to festivals. The reality is that most people working in technology are much like me – everyday people who are not defined by the field they work in.

This campaign doesn’t shoebox the tech sector. It shows it to be vibrant and exciting – genuinely a field where you can change the world. Whatever world people inhabit, they can be a force for good in it and they can use technology as a part of that.

The first television commercial can be viewed here.