Sophie Chen
Oct 8, 2013

Macquarie Dictionary's film chronicles birth of a word: 'phubbing'

MELBOURNE - After alerting the world to rail-related dangers, creative superstar John Mescall, is documenting the birth of ‘phubbing’ to help Macquarie Dictionary ignite passion about words.

The brand, known as 'Australia's dictionary', has released a short film entitled 'A word is born' (above), which takes audiences through a journey that began on 22 May 2012 at the University of Sydney. That's when a team of language experts first coined the word ‘phubbing’, which describes the uniquely 21st century phenomenon of ignoring the person in front of you in favour of your phone.

The film is the second phase of a campaign that first kicked off in August 2012 and aims to introduce the message that ‘phubbing’ is a social scourge and people of all ages, all nationalities and either sex, offend at some point.

The campaign is supported by a website, Facebook, TV, radio, press and online news outlets. It has attracted the attention of more than 300 million people.

“The rise of phubbing as an original coinage has been a wonderful illustration of the process by which my word becomes your word becomes our word until finally it is a word that belongs to us all,” said Susan Butler, publisher and editor of Macquarie Dictionary.

“‘A word is born’ is a love story about words, and how incredible they are,” said Mescall, McCann Australia's executive creative director, who is best know as the creator of 'Dumb ways to die', the viral sensation that cleaned up at awards shows worldwide. “We live in a highly visual age, but I believe words still hold enormous power. Through this campaign, we want people to fall back in love with words, and the very idea of owning a dictionary.

Misuse of smartphones in social situations has been a problem for a while now, but it wasn’t until the world had a word to describe the behaviour that people started talking about the issue, Mescall asserted.

 

CREDITS

Executive creative director John Mescall
Creative director Pat Baron
Copywriter John Mescall
Art director Pat Baron
Group account director Adrian Mills
Account director Alec Hussain
Account executive Alex Haigh
Strategy John Mescall & Adrian Mills
Other contributors Jake McLennan, Danielle Milazzo

Film
Executive creative director
John Mescall
Creative director Pat Baron
Copywriter John Mescall
Art directors Pat Baron
Group account director Adrian Mills
Account director Alec Hussain
Account executive Alex Haigh
Agency producer Chelsea Nieper
Production company Airbag Productions
Executive producer Victoria Conners-Bell
Director Aaron Wilson
Editors Nathan Mallon, Bill Irving

Website
Executive creative director
John Mescall
Creative director Pat Baron
Art directors Pat Baron, Matthew Stoddart
Copywriter Natasha Wood
Designer Dave Budd
Producer Pauline McMillan
Group account director Adrian Mills
Account director Alec Hussain

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