APG Planning Idol Winner Crowned

Thomas Cleary from SapientRazorfish Sydney crowned 2017 APG Planning Idol


Thursday, 14 November 2017

Thomas Cleary from SapientRazorfish Sydney has been awarded winner of the 2017 APG Planning Idol competition, announced last night at a ceremony at Hotel CBD.

APG Planning Idol winners


The brief, set by Red Cross Australia, was a complex one. Almost one million Australians are currently suffering from deep social exclusion, which is a form of entrenched loneliness that prevents people from fully participating in society. “Out of sight and out of mind”, deep social exclusion is a rapidly growing problem. The APG Planning Idol participants (all under 30) were challenged to develop a strategy that Red Cross could implement to address this issue meaningfully and practically.

The ceremony took place following a day of judging when the 16 shortlisted finalists presented their strategies in person to a panel consisting of Joseph Smeaton, DDB, Kate Smither, Saatchi & Saatchi, Laura Phillips, UM, Scott Matyus-Flynn, Republic of Everyone, Belinda Dimovski Red Cross Australia, and APG Chair, Angela Morris, from J. Walter Thompson.

Australian Red Cross Director of Engagement and Support, Belinda Dimovski said of the brief, “Deep social exclusion is where an individual is locked out of fully participating in society because of the multiple, complex challenges they face. Reducing deep social exclusion will not only save and improve the lives of millions of Australians, it will also make our entire nation healthier. We commend the APG and The Communications Council efforts in partnering with us to help solve this difficult and often overlooked issue”

Dimovski added, “Judging the fantastic entries was truly difficult. All of the finalists had commendable ideas, but Thomas Cleary of SapientRazorfish Sydney stood out as truly having analysed and researched the various contributing factors that can lead to social exclusion in communities. Not only was he able to demonstrate a workable solution but also had thought out a comprehensive end to end strategy. We’re very excited about the potential of bringing his idea to life.”.

The award was presented by Belinda and Sam Geer from UM, the previous Planning Idol winner.

The full APG 2017 Planning Idol Awards


Winner APG Planning Idol     Thomas Cleary SapientRazorfish,Sydney
Highly Commended                James Bennett Cummins & Partners Melbourne
Best Insight                             James Bennett Cummins & Partners Melbourne
Best Use of Research             Grace Espinosa UM
Best Written Paper                  Isabelle Zacharia M&C:Saatchi Sydney
Best Presentation                   Simon Thujis, Meerkats, Perth
Best Student Entry                 Ariana Manning, University of Otago “BrandBach”.

Angela Morris, chair of judging and the APG, said, “APG Planning Idol has become an important biannual event for nurturing young planning talent in Australia – it is rare that young strategists get the opportunity to take such leadership over a big, live brief and expose those ideas to a range of industry leaders. There were some fantastic insights and unexpected approaches to solving what was a challenging brief. All of our finalists should be very proud. Congratulations to Thomas and our other award winners for their outstanding work.”

The winning brief will be available on line, shortly.