Colgate creates head gear for the hard of hearing via VMLY&R

Colgate has partnered with sports gear manufacturer Steeden to develop a protective headgear with specialised technology to assist deaf and hard of hearing AFL players in a new campaign from VMLY&R..

Named ‘Hear Gear’ the product was ideated by VMLY&R and designed, tested and built by Steeden to create a more equitable environment for hearing impaired athletes.

Traditional headgears flush design, to absorb impact, also absorbs the vibrations that carry sound to a hearing implant. To minimise this, Hear Gear uses a new mould with redesigned padding to accommodate and channel sound to the hearing implant.

Colgate is funding the first production run of Hear Gear via Steeden as part of its ‘The Sound of a Smile’ campaign. The first iteration of the campaign featured Jamie Howell, a Deaf QAFLW athlete playing for Brisbane’s Yeronga Devil’s.

WPP’s VMLY&R inherited the Colgate creative account from VML in the merger with Y&R in 2018. VMLY&R works alongside WPP media agency, Wavemaker, and Sydney PR firm InsideOut PR, which was last month appointed to Colgate-Palmolive’s agency roster.

Anthony Crewes, marketing director, Colgate-Palmolive ANZ said: “Colgate believes that everyone deserves a future to smile about. To realise that promise we’ve worked with VMLY&R and Steeden to develop the Hear Gear project, as a truly meaningful expression of our ‘Smile Strong’ platform. The project is inspired by Jamie’s real life experience and could have wide-reaching effects in Australia. Now, we have moved from telling stories to actively creating them!”

Paul Nagy, CCO VMLY&R AUNZ said: “We are so fortunate to work with a brand that doesn’t just talk about optimism, they do things in the real world to create it. It’s a connected brand really having a positive impact. Hear Gear is a simple tool that gives more Australians the ability to enjoy sport just like everybody else, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”

The campaign launches as a TVC on Channel 7 and Channel 10 as well as Foxtel. There will also be a PR drive to raises awareness and sign-up for Hear Gear headgear for deaf and hard of hearing athletes.


Client: Colgate:
Yves Briantias – Vice President Marketing, APAC
Lyndon Morant – Marketing Director IMC
Anthony Crewes – Marketing Director, ANZ
Kate Hickey – Associate Director Marketing – Oral Care, ANZ
Maria Casas – IBE Lead, ANZ
Daniela Bosso – Senior Brand Manager, ANZ

Special thanks to:
Yeronga Devils Footy Club & Jamie Howell
Hannah Gray & the team at Steeden

Creative Agency: VMLY&R
Chief Creative Officer – Paul Nagy
Chief Strategy Officer – Ali Tilling
Group Executive Creative Director – Jake Barrow
Senior Art Director – Bryce Waters
Senior Copywriter – Blair Panozza
Managing Partner – Katherine Chen
Group Account Director – Elaine Loke
Account Director – Sinead Kelly
Executive Producer – Rachel Rider
Senior Content Producer – SarahJane Sands
Integrated Producer – Maddison Fricker
Lead Editor & Colourist – Alek Janev
Design Director – Elliot Owen
Technical Director – Luke Torney

Production Company – Taxi Film/Vault
Senior Producer – Simone Mackie
Brisbane Director / DOP – Tony Prescott
Melbourne Director – Opie Sayner-Hassall
Melbourne DOP – Cesar Salmeron
Stills Photography – Chris Crawford
Retouching – Mark Sterne
Sound Studio – Ran Run

Media: Wavemaker
Group Client Director – Laura Brady
Marketplace Group Director – Octavio Martinez

PR: Inside Out PR
CEO & Founder – Nicole Reaney
PR & Influencer Manager – Isobel Goodwin-Moore


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