Internet Research Agency
While horrifying on most levels, as a jaded advertising creative I have to admit that I was simultaneously deeply repulsed and deeply impressed by the smart (dirt-cheap) social and digital tactics Russia used to hack our democracy during the 2016 election.
So in 2017, I worked with a group of fellow ad friends to research and dissect their methods. Then, in an attempt to draw more attention to obvious flaws in our social platforms (and democracy lol), we submitted a case study to every major ad award show presenting Russia’s social hacking as the most effective digital campaign of all time. We got a lot of press (and I fulfilled my childhood dream of being interviewed by the New Yorker) before going on to win Best in Show at One Show. Until we were disqualified, when judges found out we weren’t actually the sovereign nation of Russia applying to win a One Show. We still got called on stage and the year following, they created an entirely new category where we would be eligble.