Staff Reporters
Oct 7, 2022

Women to Watch 2022: Haylie Craig, Colenso BBDO

As a seasoned creative, Craig is a fierce advocate for bold, inclusive work for the betterment of others—particularly those in the queer community.

Women to Watch 2022: Haylie Craig, Colenso BBDO
Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms

Haylie Craig

Senior art director
Colenso BBDO
New Zealand

Haylie Craig possesses qualities that most creatives should: A strong set of values, strength in innovation, and a collaborative, inclusive spirit. And instead of creating work that’s made within an industry bubble, she often invites colleagues, clients, and the community her work is designed to serve to be part of the creative process. This, unsurprisingly, leads to more effective and meaningful campaigns. 

Not only does Craig have these enviable leadership and management traits, she manages to embody brand purpose by using her creative prowess to set examples. One of her proudest creative works—and incidentally, one of Campaign’s favourites—is ‘Beyond Binary Code’ for Colenso BBDO’s biggest client, telco company Spark. 

The project comprises a single piece of code that businesses can copy and paste into their website code to make their forms more gender inclusive. The code is designed to rewrite the internet so it sees more than two genders. Co-created with queer mental-health organisations and transgender and non-binary communities, it’s a single piece of code that can be added to any website to make data forms and fields gender-inclusive to avoid people being misgendered online. The campaign went on to win a silver at Cannes Lions and provided the telco brand with its highest-ever spike in positive social-media sentiment. Using one own’s lived experiences—sometimes painful ones—is courageous for any creative to do, and Craig does it for the sake of bettering the lives of the queer community she so vehemently advocates for. 

On top of that, Craig was instrumental in winning business from health insurer Medibank. Her work on the pitch was said to have directly helped with the agency winning the account, which was the most significant piece of new business for New Zealand in 2021. Craig’s work is proof that an agency mustn’t merely rely on business growth as a measure of its success; her work reminds us that championing bold, inclusive work that can actually make a difference among marginalised lives should and must also account for real creative success.

Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms


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