2012 Results

CAT 26 - Mobile Communications (BC)

Throwing coins into the future

The world, as we all know, is digital and mobile. So it’s possible for a digital mobile campaign to win an Epica Grand Prix in the Outdoor category. The core idea – donating loose change to support a charity – is as old as they get. The difference here is that these were virtual pennies donated via smartphone.

The Microloan Foundation is a charity that encourages women in Africa to set up their own businesses. The giant outdoor site in a UK shopping centre featured portraits of real women made entirely of pennies. Passersby could complete the portraits by texting a donation to the poster – receiving a “thank you” on the billboard in return. When all the virtual pennies had fallen into place, the picture was complete and the donation was large enough to help the woman start her business.

People could also see the donations and evolving portraits on a micro-site, turning the installation into a live interactive event. From just one poster over a single weekend, the charity raised enough money to help 21 women start small businesses.

Many great posters were entered this year. Some of them, arguably, had more artistic merit than this outdoor site. But the jury agreed unanimously that the “Pennies For Life” operation was an idea that represented the future of outdoor communications. That made it a winner – no coin toss required.



The Microloan Foundation, "Pennies for Life"26-03580-BC

Agency (city): DLKW LOWE, London

Creative Director(s): Greg Delaney

Copywriter(s): Richard J Warren

Art Director(s): Paul Hancock

Photographer(s): Oli Kellett

Agency Producer(s): Ally Dean

Executive Creative Directors: Richard Denney & Dave Henderson

Website Design: Jamie Craven & Nick Smith

Account Director: Gabrielle Gribbin

Account Planner: Venetia Sturdy

Animation Production Company: Absolute Post Production

Event Film, Director: The Tubby brothers

Event Film, Production Company: Rogue

Project Manger: Gidon Z Cohen

Technical Production: Grand Visual

Short explanation

The MicroLoan Foundation is a charity that helps women in Africa to set up their own small businesses. Our campaign is called 'Pennies for Life'.
On a digital poster site, we created unfinished portraits of African women, made of pennies.
Then we invited people to complete each picture by texting a donation. As soon as it arrived, the money dropped into place on the screen. Donors got a personal 'thank you' on the poster, and a credit on our microsite. And, from one poster site, in its first weekend, 21 women who had nothing now have their own small businesses.


The MicroLoan Foundation is a responsible and non-profit UK microfinance charity that provides microfinance (small loans of on average £70), business education and ongoing mentoring support to impoverished women in sub-Saharan Africa. This provides them with a "hand-up not a hand out" so they can develop self-sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families, and work their own way out of poverty. 99% of the loans are repaid and then recycled in full to help more women year after year.