Creative communications and digital agency
Hello, we’re Icon. We’re a strategic creative communications and digital agency that specialises in complex behaviour change and brand transformation.
Naturally collaborative, Icon’s integrated model is adapted to the disruptive forces reshaping modern marketing and communications: the declining influence of paid media; direct-to-consumer brand marketing; the rise of e-commerce; and the experience economy.
We are creators, thinkers, makers and technologists. Our multidisciplinary team of 55 works at the intersection of digital, creative and communication services. We come from 13 countries, speak nine languages and are united by a passion for purposeful innovation.
Headquartered in Australia’s creative tech hub of Cremorne, we have offices in Sydney and Canberra, along with a global partner network spanning 150+ cities in 50 countries.
Our philosophy – Pursuit of Possibility.
Today, people expect more from brands. They want brands that stand for something and align with their beliefs. We know this because we live it. Since our founding in 2002, Icon has been passionate about building and promoting brands with purpose – from integrated behaviour change campaigns to best-in-class digital experiences and award-winning PR.
At Icon, we approach each brief through a 'human-centred' lens, focussing on the people a product or a service is being created for.
As a team, we are optimistic and curious, seeking possibility in everything we do. Our belief system – the Pursuit of Possibility – is about asking ‘what if’ and forging ‘what could be’ through the application of creativity, human insights and data.
With vision and collective action, anything is possible.
Australian Department of Defence; Air Force; Yarra Trams; Sustainability Victoria; NDIS; numerous other government departments and agencies; Schneider Electric; ADP; Airwallex; Mondolez International
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) implements the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which supports a better life for Australians with a significant and permanent disability, and their families and carers.
After winning a competitive tender, Icon was appointed to overhaul the usability of the NDIS website and redevelop on Drupal – the leading enterprise-level open source platform.
The new NDIS website needed to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2 AA principals, making it easy for all users to locate web-based information and services. An improved search function was required, and the site's layout needed to adapt based on screen size – a process known as 'responsive design'.
Icon's UX team unpacked internally held information and undertook an Australia-wide tour to meet a range of NDIS Participants, Partners and Providers. We also conducted user interviews, Accessibility tested development, Workshops and focus groups and Usability testing of prototypes in order to create an optimal website.
Read more here.
There are 726,600 carers in Victoria, and more than 2.7 million across Australia. Many of these people are caring for someone close to them – unpaid, and with little recognition or praise received.
In 2019, Icon Agency was engaged by Carers Victoria to develop an integrated creative communications campaign that would raise awareness of the incredible work unpaid carers do, and help Carers Victoria continue to support them.
To inform our campaign and gain valuable insights into Carers Victoria and the landscape, we undertook a ‘Top to Bottom’ strategic review of their internal, external and media communications.
Under the creative platform ‘Truly Incredible Care’, we developed a range of collateral that would help to reinforce messaging and visualise the incredible work unpaid carers do. Central to this was a series of films exploring the lives of real carers, and the genuine love they have for the parents, children, partners and siblings they care for. These real-life heroes featured were central to the “Truly Incredible Care’ story.
With the state under lockdown due to COVID-19, we directed our focus towards an extensive digital marketing campaign that would share the stories of truly incredible carers while inviting Victorians to pledge their support to Carers Victoria (and, by extension, carers) through a dedicated online portal.
Icon was appointed by the Australian Government’s Attorney-General’s Department in early 2017 to design an amnesty campaign aimed at reducing the number of unregistered firearms in the community.
During the amnesty people could hand in unregistered firearms or firearm-related items for registration or destruction without penalty and without fear of prosecution.
The ‘Now’s the time’ behaviour change campaign ran from 1 July to 30 September 2017, resulting in over 50,000 firearms being handed in.
Click here to read more about it.
Artbank needed a more usable site that also celebrated creativity. Finding this balance took numerous rounds of design, prototyping and gathering user feedback.
Artbank’s collection database is managed via the EMu Collection Management System, so having this maintained and hosted in a more stable manner was a critical component of the new build.
The new website supports Artbank’s mission to promote the value of Australian contemporary art to the broader public.
Technically sophisticated and beautifully designed, we've made it easy for people to find and lease works; support living artists through the acquisition of their work; promote events; and simplify the way Artbank publishes and manages content.
Icon was tasked with delivering a new design system for the Australian Department of Defence web estate – a collection of over 100 disparate websites built over many years and on numerous platforms.
Our approach to reviewing the Defence web estate was user-centred and evidence-based. We implemented both quantitative (content audits, stakeholder and user surveys, analytics and statistics); and qualitative methods (desktop review, stakeholder consultation, heat-maps and user videos) as part of our review process.
The strategy would act as a blueprint for future design and development stages.
Icon’s digital team worked with Defence to produce wireframe prototypes, a new Defence Design System using the ‘Atomic Design’ framework, and a front-end component library that was consistent, semantic and accessible.
The Defence Design System is a living library that will evolve and expand as needs grow.
Schneider Electric is the global leader in energy efficiency and digital transformation. Despite its reach, brand awareness in Australia was low, share of voice lower and Schneider Electric had no voice on issues it knew were significant.
Icon Reputation identified and trained leaders for media opportunities, engaged with key media figures and developed thought leadership opportunities.
Numerous thought leadership pieces featured both online and in print in Australia’s pre-eminent platforms: the Australian Financial Review, The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.
Brand awareness and share of voice increased, but most importantly so did Schneider Electric’s input into the key debates around energy transitions, efficiency and sustainability.
Read more about it here.
Over 6 million adults in Australia experienced cybercrime in 2017. That’s one in four people. It’s a billion-dollar problem that impacts business and individuals – and it’s getting worse. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) appointed Icon Agency to create a PR campaign for Australia’s biggest national annual awareness-raising activity – Stay Smart Online Week 2018.
Icon Agency created ‘Reverse the Threat’, a creative PR campaign based around a single, powerful insight: if we are to fight back against the cybercriminals, we need to do it together.
Our specific task: encourage Australians to take a few simple steps to improve their cyber security and grow the campaign reach from 3.2 million to 10 million without any above-the-line spend. A big challenge – we were up for it.
Icon's Stay Smart Online Week campaign won a coveted 2019 Gold Standard Award for best Media Engagement.
Read more about it here.
In 2019, Equip and Catholic Super undertook a bold merger that would see the two profit-to-member super funds merge under Together Trustees, creating a combined $27 billion in managed assets.
With the support of Icon Reputation, headed by former editor-in-chief of The Age newspaper Mark Forbes, this innovative transformation was widely positively received, with industry experts and super members all praising the merger.
“Icon was contracted by Equip and Catholic Super to oversee the strategic communications and public relations announcements that heralded the creation of the innovative joint venture between the two Funds. Mark Forbes and his colleagues worked with us to strategically plan messages to our key audiences, and assisted in the drafting and finalisation of our media communications. He carefully sourced key media outlets that generated coverage and reinforced our key messages to our various target audiences. We found working collaboratively added significant value.”- Andrew Fairley AM (Chair, Together Trustees Pty Ltd-Trustee of Equipsuper and Catholic Super)
Read more here.
In 2019, Yarra Trams tasked Icon with adapting the now iconic ‘Tram Coach’ in a new behaviour change campaign.
A campaign was needed to encourage commuters to be more aware of their fellow passengers and adopt behaviours that allow others to board and disembark easily and efficiently.
The Icon creative team developed the positive ‘Become a True Trampion’ central theme to encourage camaraderie and show how good passenger etiquette is thing to be admired.
A set of Tram Coach trophies were created to convey communicate our three core messages: clear the steps, clear the doorway and move in to touch on.
Read more here.
In 2018 Sustainability Victoria (SV) engaged Icon Agency to create a public awareness and behaviour change campaign to support a forthcoming state-wide ban on electrical waste in rubbish bins and landfill.
The Icon team, led by Creative Directors Rod Clausen and Ed Bechervaise, developed an innovative creative platform to inspire a new state-of-mind, with the promise of a brighter future – ‘Take your e-waste to a better place’. Central to the campaign is a visually stunning film which takes Victorians on a fantastic journey of discovery.
The campaign launched on 4 July 2018 and was rolled out over three phases across TV, cinema, online, press, posters, social media and PR channels over the next 12 months leading up to the ban in 2019.
Click here to read more about it.
ACNC have a ‘digital by default’ mandate requiring outdated systems to be updated in an appropriate, fit-for-purpose and sustainable manner to deliver long-term efficiencies to best support the charity sector.
Icon was chosen to deliver a major upgrade based on our deep understanding of GovCMS and best-in-class UX/UI.
Connecting Dynamics to GovCMS to transfer publicly available charity information in near real-time was a challenge we were up for.
75,000 + charities and associated reporting documents meant we would receive over 500,000 files which needed to be split into 1.2 million content types – all stored efficiently within a Drupal database for searching.
The outcome is seamless, efficient and super-fast to search. It also looks great and is easy to use through the use of tabbed charity pages and dynamic chart rendering.
As Australia’s leading high-performance data, storage and computing organisation, NCI plays a pivotal role in supplying government, science and industry bodies with world-class services. They’re also responsible for bringing the Australian Government's broader research sector together, collaborating with important educational institutions, major national science agencies and the Australian Research Council.
Communicating their depth of expertise from every angle was vital. NCI needed a new website that was both technically advanced and easy to navigate, and would better demonstrate their value to Australia's scientific and research communities.
A key feature outlined in our brief was the need to display live statistics in a clear and innovative way. In addition, we were tasked with modernising and transposing NCI’s offline style guide into a digital context.
Drawing on this insight we were able to deliver a custom-designed solution that helps NCI demonstrate how they create value for customers and celebrates their successes as an organisation. With the right amount of art, data and experience, we tailored a solution that reflected their true nature.
Icon was tasked with helping JANA find its voice and become an authoritative leader amid changing public and industry expectations.
In an intergrated approach, a communications strategy built on a new brand platform from Icon’s creative team, Depth with Difference. Our focus was on thought leadership and brand authority, utilising JANA’s depth of expertise and research to speak out on issues crucial to the investment and broader community.
Detailed research on the investment impact of Climate Change saw JANA call for it to be factored in to all investment strategies and advocate a shift to ‘green’ investment. A move extensively reported in Tier One and sector media, and thought leadership content featured.
Other topics included the impact of COVID-19 on investing, and the significance of cultural and governance standards, as JANA’s leaders increasingly became go-to voices of expert commentary.
Read more about it here.