Belong celebrates inclusivity in first brand work by Howatson + Company

Telstra’s low-cost, carbon neutral telco, Belong has launched its first work with Howatson + Company since moving its creative and strategy in June.

‘It Feels Good to Belong’ puts a spin on Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’, celebrating inclusiveness through a range of different shaped and sized rocks in the Snowy Mountains.

The brand said that this new fully-integrated platform looks to champion the ‘joyful, inclusive world of data and the internet’, and will extend across the Belong business, including brand communications, product, sim card packaging, website, UI/UX, staff collateral and more.

Belong CEO, Jana Kotatko, said: “We are incredibly proud of our new ‘It Feels Good to Belong’ platform and brand work. Belong is a brand that is all about joy and inclusiveness and bringing people together, we couldn’t be prouder of how that is represented in this work and are thrilled to see it out in the world.”

The new platform was launched last night with a 60 second television spot during the premiere of Channel Ten’s The Masked Singer, also running a partnership between the show and brand. This is part of a ‘disruptively distinctive’ media strategy, ran by Howatson + Company, with implementation and buying in partnership with OMD.

Belong’s previous brand platforms was its ‘together we’re different’ campaign in 2019 with Clemenger BBDO, which handled the creative work for Belong until this year.  

This is Belong’s first creative work since its Carbon Thumbprint campaign in 2020, with Deloitte Digital.

Belong said that the spot, directed by Revolver’s Steve Rogers, is based on the phenomenon of pareidolia, “a very human ability to see faces in inanimate objects, proving that connection is all around us if we just look hard enough”.

Howatson + Company executive creative director, Gavin Chimes, said: “Belonging feels great, so why be serious? ‘It Feels Good to Belong’ allows us to celebrate the joy of togetherness while fully embracing the random wonder and whimsy of the internet – which is at the heart of what Belong offers.”

Belong said that true to its values, the production of the campaign was approached in an inclusive and low impact way, with Monaro-Ngarigo people, local to the Snowy mountains being engaged to ensure the “storyline, lyrics and land were respectfully considered, with the production being 100% carbon offset”.

In addition, the brand has also released a series of product films which showcase Belong’s carbon neutral offering. These will be supported through digital and out-of-home channels.

The telco was Howatson + Company’s second confirmed client for the agency formed by former CHE Proximity duo Chris Howatson and Ant White, after they launched this year under the name Howatson + White. White left the agency last month, with it later rebranding under the current name.

Allianz was named as the agency’s foundation client, with its first work released in May.


Creative: Howatson+Company 

Media strategy: Howatson+Company  

Media implementation and buying: OMD

Client: Belong

CEO, Jana Kotatko 

Head of Brand, Comms & Culture, Kelly Schulz 

Head of Product, Aaliah Eggins-Bryson 

Brand + Creative Lead, Leanne Boyd 

Brand Specialist, Clare Taylor 

Marketing Chapter Lead, Nathan Cole 

Product Owner – Trading & Propositions, Loretta Bell 

Senior Marketing Specialist, Adelaide L’Estrange 

Marketing – Trading & Propositions, Josh Bailey 

Production: Revolver 

Belong Brand Credits 

Production Company: Revolver 

Director: Steve Rogers 

Managing Director/Co-Owner: Michael Ritchie 

Executive Producer/Partner/ Producer: Pip Smart 

Cinematographer: Sam Chiplin 

Production Design: Steven Jones-Evans 

Editor: Alexandre De Franceschi 

VFX & Post Production: Blackbird VFX 

Music Supervisor: Trailer Media

Music & Sound: Sonar 

Belong Product & OOH Credits 

Post Production: Heckler 

Director: Julian Wolkenstein 

Executive Producer: Carlos Zalapa 

Producer: Maddison Costello 

VFX Supervisor: Jamie Watson 

Head of 3D: Tom Corbett 

Design Director: Gina Wagstaffe

3D Team: Freddie Jiang, Phillip Wang, Gabor Prucsi, Boris Fomin, Dom Femia, Jack Scrase, Tim Jarick, Gareth Chang

Compositor: Nitin Amin

Animator: Kate Knott

I/O Team: Dan Page, Maud Chapuis

Music & Sound: Heckler Sound

Composer: Johnny Green

Sound Designer: Dave Robertson

Voice Over Artist: Lee Perry


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