Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Vungle and Glug launch creative design competition, ‘Forward to Normal’

By Si Crowhurst, Vice President of Vungle Creative Labs

Almost from the start of the pandemic, people have been speculating about when things will get back to normal, or more recently, what the ‘new normal’ will look like. But 2020 continues to be anything but predictable, transforming lives, entire industries, and impacting daily life in ways we never could have imagined.

At the same time, lockdown changed life in some very positive ways, and we now have a golden opportunity to apply these learnings to re-imagine and re-organise the world around us. Vungle, a mobile advertising network and app monetisation platform, saw early on in the crisis how powerful creative is as a tool for communicating important messages.

Vungle saw the UN/WHO’s Global Call Out to Creatives to help stop the spread of Covid-19 through visual content that conveys public health messages, and knew it had to help. Vungle Creative Labs answered the UN’s call by creating a series of in-app playable ads that amplified messages about good hygiene and social distancing to gamers worldwide. These ads have attracted 36,771,804 million views to date, and are a testament to the power of creative design for social good. 

Seeing the massive impact these public health ads have had, Vungle teamed up with the creatives at Glug to launch a design competition called ‘Forward to Normal,’ asking creatives of all kinds – designers, brand strategists, illustrators and artists – to use their skills to help us all imagine the world to come and charting a new way forward with their positive visions of the future. 

Pete Bowker, CEO Glug said: “Building on the success of previous campaigns around ‘Glug for Good,’ we’re really excited to be working with Vungle on Forward to Normal. Even in these complex times, there’s always a place for beauty and creativity. We believe that creativity can help change the world – one great creative idea at a time!”

The competition features three briefs for creatives to respond to within a limited time window, asking entrants to design and storyboard an interactive ad spot that re-imagines the post-Covid world according to the briefs.

The timelines for the brief are: 

–          Brief 1, Wednesday 19th Aug – 2nd Sept

–          Brief 2, Wednesday 9th Sept – 23rd Sept

–          Brief 3, Wednesday 30th Sept – 14th Oct 

Headline judges involved in the process include: Trevor Rudder, Founder of Angel London; Ville Heijari, Chief Marketing Officer at Rovio Entertainment Corporation; Steffanie Sword Williams, Account Director at TCO London and Founder, F*ck Being Humble; and Neil Shah, Global Marketing Director, Smirnoff at Diageo. 

Steffanie Sword Williams, Account Director at media agency TCO London, a DRUM Top 100 Indie Agency and Founder of F*ck Being Humble , said: “As a platform rooted in championing rising talent, F*ck Being Humble is looking forward to joining the panel of judges to review and celebrate the creative responses to these briefs.” 

Trevor Rudder, Founder of creative and digital agency, Angel London, said: “Honored to be included in the judging panel and excited to see examples of creativity that shine a positive light on our future.” 

Winners will be announced in October, at the Glug x Mediatel: Future of Creativity event, and will get expert one-to-one support from Vungle Creative Labs to transform their storyboard concept into a real-life playable in-game ad, served via the Vungle ad network that reaches one-third of the world’s smartphones. The five runners up will also get access to the Vungle Creative Labs team, to understand how ads are designed and come to life.  

We’re looking for a broad range of creative responses, reflecting the individual three briefs. Bear in mind the campaign aims, and show us your ideas for the future. For more details, head to The second brief will be unveiled Wednesday, 9th September 2020.