R/GA Sydney takes top FWA Awards with interactive music video, Through the Dark

R/GA Sydney has won the FWA of the Year Award and the FWA People’s Choice Award for its interactive film made for Hilltop Hoods’ Through the Dark.


The announcement:

The prestigious global FWA Of The Year Award and FWA People’s Choice Award has been won by R/GA Sydney’s interactive film for Through the Dark – the song written by Dan Smith (MC Pressure) as his son underwent treatment for leukaemia.  

FWA’s mission is to showcase cutting-edge creativity from individuals, agencies and brands worldwide, with past winners including 24 Hours of Happy, Museum of Me and Google’s The Wilderness Downtown. A panel of 200 international judges selected Through the Dark as the 2016 FWA Of The Year, while the People’s Choice Award was decided by the community of FWA users who cast nearly 8,000 votes.

The award-winning work used cutting-edge mobile and digital technology to convey a moving personal story, capturing a sense of a world turned upside down. Rotating and tilting phones enabled users to navigate a path through a father and son’s journey in two 3D animated environments – the dark representing fear and the light representing hope. A link at the end of the film also allowed users to listen to the Hilltop Hoods album, ‘Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung’ via Google Play Music, generating a $1 donation each time to youth cancer organization CanTeen.

Commenting on the work, FWA Founder, Rob Ford said, “It’s been years since I saw a project that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. When I first saw Through the Dark, I immediately thought it could go on to win FWA of the Year, and I haven’t had that feeling for many years. The fact that it also scooped FWA People’s Choice Award as well, only the third time in our 17-year history, further demonstrates what an incredible project it is.”

R/GA Sydney Executive Creative Director, Hamish Stewart said, “We’re very humbled to have received these awards. The stars were aligned for this work: an amazing client in Google, an incredible artist in Hilltop Hoods, a powerful track, fantastic partners and a passionate, world-class team at R/GA Sydney driving the project. It’s been a great privilege to help tell this story, so we’re delighted to see it receive this level of recognition on the global stage.”

“We set out to bring art and technology together, creating something that immersed fans in the world the song describes and allowed them to feel the emotion of the story,” said Sophie Hirst from Google Australia. “It’s been magic to see the reaction of people experiencing Through the Dark for the first time, and an honour to be recognised by the FWA with these coveted awards.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.