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VMLY&R and Colgate Remind Australians: The AFL is for Everyone


The next chapter in the 'Sound of a Smile' campaign celebrates optimism and team-spirit in Australia's best loved sport

VMLY&R and Colgate Remind Australians: The AFL is for Everyone

What’s it like being part of a team as a deaf athlete? Colgate-Palmolive, VMLY&R – WPP’s brand and customer experience agency, and Wavemaker – part of WPP's GroupM, the world’s leading media investment company, have unveiled ‘The Sound of a Smile’ highlighting one athlete’s experience. It’s the latest story in Colgate-Palmolive’s long-running Smile Strong platform centred around championing stories which connect with the incredible power of optimism in action. 

As the ‘Official Smile’ of the AFL, Colgate is unearthing and celebrating champions of optimism in the sport. From elite players, to grassroots, it’s about showcasing stories that connect with and inspire all Australians. 

‘The Sound of a Smile’ features QAFLW athlete Jamie Howell, and her team the Yeronga Devils, led by Captain Mia Walsh. It centres on Jamie’s experience as a deaf athlete and her journey with her team as they navigate the gameplay and even learn their team song in Auslan - surprising Jamie by performing it. 

“For the past 3 years, Colgate has been sharing stories from real people who’ve found the courage to Smile Strong and keep doing what it takes to make the world a better place and we’re so excited to be able to share the story of Jamie and The Yeronga Devils.” said Anthony Crewes, marketing director, ANZ. 

“It’s not always easy to be an optimist, but when you make that choice it can be a powerful force for change in your life. Championing optimism means we are committed to creating a healthier planet and work every day to create healthy smiles for all. It’s an honour to share stories of those that demonstrate the same mentality.” 

The campaign launched with a hero TVC that aired on primetime television during AFL games, amplified on & the AFL app, in stadium & in cinema – partnering with Val Morgan to leverage the Dolby Atmos experience and create more immersive experiences in-cinema. 

The second phase rolling out this week – a social campaign across Instagram and Tiktok – sees Jamie Howell translating 7 AFL team songs in Auslan, inviting people to learn the songs in Auslan and share in their own videos. Colgate, via Wavemaker, will also be engaging with AFL players and influencers (hearing impaired and non-Deaf) to duet with Jamie’s Auslan signing, to drive connection through shared passion for sports and its uniting power to get people's attention. 

Alison Tilling, VMLY&R chief strategy officer said “The Sound of a Smile work takes on a challenge: in Australian sport, we can be deaf to the pain of being ‘different’. The Yeronga Devils team were true optimists, acting on differences to get to real inclusion. Sports are meant to unite us. How can we all be like the QAFLW Yeronga Devils teammates and really embrace difference?” 

Shivani Maharaj, Wavemakers chief content & partnerships officer said “As we move into AFL finals, we are so proud to work on this Colgate campaign championing inclusivity by teaching fans of AFL a new way to support their team using Auslan. It is about making an entire community feel heard and included. To make a community Smile!” 


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VMLY&R Sydney, Wed, 21 Sep 2022 04:36:04 GMT