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New Blood Entry — For the Procrastinators

Award: Yellow Pencil

Fossil & MSL / 2021

Today, we live in a productivity-driven society where existing time norms make people who delay tasks feel guilty, but procrastination isn't a personal failing. Instead, it's a trait that deserves to be celebrated.

To empower people to take their time guiltlessly, Fossil created the world's first smartwatch where time isn't divided into equal intervals but by the procrastinator's internal clock. We can't change time, but we can change the perception of it to include and celebrate those who buck the trend and embrace the pros of procrastination.

What did the judges have to say?

"When I first saw the eventual Yellow Pencil winner, I felt in my bones it should win. There was simply no other entry that successfully subverted the brief to ask the critical societal questions it was asking. On top of which the entry video was perfectly executed. During the jury debate I was really interested in how the entry brought to life the key questions we should all be asking – is infinite economic growth really the answer? Why do we work? Are we simply units of production? These are all questions being asked by economists, huge businesses and politicians around the world. On a different note, the idea that 'wasting time' is a crucial part of the creative process is one which I always emphasise in my work as a tutor in creativity. I may even use it in my training to make that point if the winner allows me to!"

Arif Haq, Director of Brand Learning, TwentyFirstCenturyBrand

"The winning idea took the brief and twisted it whilst still remaining right. It challenged how we think, how we see the brand and how we think of time well spent. It was elegant. But above all else it was strong PR that made us believe in it."

Michael Dowell, Creative Director, MSL Group London

"I loved the fact that they had picked up on the idea of valuing time even if it's ‘wasted’. We're under so much pressure to make use of every second of our day and be productive and I think there is beauty in the moments where we do procrastinate and do ‘nothing’. It really touched on how people value time in different ways and also how young people should embrace this, rather than becoming overwhelmed by the grind. It took mental health into account and executed the idea nicely with social media, as well as a very cool product redesign. They'd thought about a lot of elements and it stood out against the other responses, with a unique concept.: – Natasha Nanner"

Natasha Nanner, Creative Strategy Director, Bauer Media

"It was such a great case study. A uniquely creative concept and product that provided an innovative and compassionate solution in response to the brief, offering a new generational perspective on the perception of time. It connected with its audience, represented the brand and was executed to a high standard."

Rakesh Chadee, Design Director & Creative Strategist, Freelance

"For The Procrastinators feels like a cultural counterpunch to hustle culture. We need more work like this in the industry."

Rob Estreitinho, Strategy Director, VCCP London

"Procrastination is a rich and textured topic for a task exploring the concept of time, and one that enabled this response to playfully subvert the expectations of the original brief. The response was firmly grounded in the lived experiences of its target audience, and its translation of the conceptual – time is subjective – into tangible – a clock with variable hours – was skilful and slick. The creative platform that was delivered could have easily supported a range of activations, and tapped into very timely conversations around hustle culture and productivity – perfect for a PR brief!"

Olivia Yallop, Creative Director, The Digital Fairy

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