Category A02. Data-driven Targeting
Name Company Position
Rob Doubal McCann London Co-President and Chief Creative Officer
Laurence Thomson McCann London Co-President and Chief Creative Officer
Sanjiv Mistry McCann London Executive Creative Director
Jamie Mietz McCann London Executive Creative Director
James Crosby McCann London Copywriter
William Cottam McCann London Art Director
Elizabeth Bernstein McCann London Head of New Business
Rohin Lalli McCann London Senior Account Manager
Nick Kavanagh McCann London Comms Strategy Partner
Katya Escala McCann London Communications Director
Sergio Lopez Craft/McCann Chief Production Officer EMEA
Zara Balfour Craft/McCann Executive Producer
Duncan Groves Craft/McCann Agency Producer
Nicholas Mugridge Craft/McCann Business Affairs
Chris Groves Craft/McCann Music Supervisor
Ben Twiston-Davis Craft/McCann Director
Adam Beasley Craft/McCann Editor
Giselle Hall Craft/McCann Editor
Tara Henderson McCann London Planner
Paul Gillespie McCann London Project Manager
David Smith MRM/McCann Business Director
Alex Hegarty MRM/McCann Senior Interface Developer

Why is this work relevant for Creative Data?

Although air pollution is now a major public health risk, both the issue itself and the data relating to air quality is either invisible or inaccessible to the average person. This campaign - Toxic Toby - harnesses real-time air quality data and packages it up in a way is that is relatable, engaging and easy to understand.


Contributing to 40 times as many deaths than road traffic accidents, air pollution in London is at breaking point and has been dubbed the invisible killer. Our client, BreezoMeter, have made it their mission to combat this by collecting and publishing real-time, location-based air quality data. BreezoMeter challenged us to find a way of liberating their data and educating the public to the immediate dangers of air pollution in order to catalyse action towards alleviating the problem.

Describe the idea/data solution

Although BreezoMeter’s data provides a unique perspective on air quality globally, the statistics themselves lacked emotion and humanity and sat on a website that very few people knew about. So we gave pollution data a face. A furry face in the form of a teddy bear named Toxic Toby. He is part roadside memorial, part neighbourhood utility, and connected to BreezoMeter’s real-time air quality data. When pollution reaches harmful levels, Toxic Toby is triggered to raise his paw to his mouth and start coughing, alerting the public to the immediate dangers around them. Simultaneously, an automated Tweet is sent out to the local MP making them aware of the issue and pushing them to act.

Describe the data driven strategy

BreezoMeter provides air quality data for the 6 main pollutants, all of which at high levels can be seriously damaging to our health. By fusing BreezoMeter’s historical geo-located air quality data with pedestrian footfall information we placed Toby in locations that were both heavily polluted and where he would receive the maximum amount of exposure. Because Toby was live-linked to BreezoMeter’s air quality readings, if one of the 6 main pollutants breached the World Health Organisation suggested limits, the bear would instantly start coughing.

Describe the creative use of data, or how the data enhanced the creative output

The public had a desire to become more informed about the air they breathe, but the air quality data made available to them was unrelatable, unengaging and complex to understand. We all understand that high levels of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5 are bad for us, but at what level and what concentration. Packaging up air quality data into something tangible like a coughing teddy bear gave the public an easy read for when pollution is reaching harmful levels. Toxic Toby utilised complex data from the cloud, distilled it down, and delivered it at street level in a way you couldn’t ignore.

List the data driven results

Toxic Toby removed the immediate barriers between the public and air quality data, breaking down the complexity of all the numbers and charts and delivering in a way that anyone can understand. The public became much more informed about the topic and the online conversations around #pollution rose 300% during the campaign. We provided a simple social tool for the public to get their voices heard. By simply visiting and selecting their local constituency, an automated tweet would be sent out to the Mayor of London and the local MP. During the campaign every MP in London was engaged with via Toxic Toby, and many opened up dialogue to find out more. The campaign garnered huge PR both in the UK and abroad from the likes of the BBC, CBS and The British Lung Foundation, with news coverage views totalling 88 million. We even caught the attention of the World Health Organisation who want to take Toxic Toby to the global stage and have him as a permanent fixture in every major city around the world.