Category A04. Consumer Durables
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
Jacob Björdal McCann London Art Director
Jim Nilsson McCann London Copywriter
Sergio Lopez Craft/McCann Chief Production Officer EMEA
Sophie Chapman-Andrews Craft/McCann Executive Producer
Daniel Källberg Craft/McCann Producer
Tom Adamson McCann London Business Director
Nicole Spaude McCann London Senior Account Director
Rohin Lalli McCann London Senior Account Manager
Robert Stockton McCann London Senior Account Manager
Sophie Grierson McCann London Account Manager
Clare Prager McCann London Project Director
Anna Curtis McCann London Project Manager
Matthew Thomas McCann London Designer
Angelika Juszczyk McCann London Creative Artworker
Joshua Smith McCann London Junior Designer
Ellis Faint Craft/McCann Post-production
Adele Hodges Craft/McCann Post-production
Paul Jenkinson, Stefano Scalise and Paul Fitzpatrick Craft/McCann Post-production
John Martin Craft/McCann Post-production
Ben Twiston-Davies Craft/McCann Self-shooting Director
Jeremy Reichman Craft/McCann Post-production
Harvey Winter Craft/McCann Post-production
Brian Hill Freelance Photographer
Ben McIlveen Craft/McCann Post-production
Giselle Hall Craft/McCann Post-production

Why is this work relevant for Media?

Shadows appear everywhere outdoors, but are rarely noticed. This overlooked medium was the perfect way to promote a product that is designed to disappear. By existing purely as shadows, The Shadow Posters didn’t just reinvent the medium of posters. They actually turned shadows into an advertising medium. While they had the same format as other outdoor ads, they were posters like you’ve never seen them before. For hundreds of years, posters have been designed to grab your attention – and distract you. To launch a device designed to make you more focused, these posters showed what real focus looks like.


Microsoft were launching a new device – the first-ever black Surface Pro. The colour had been carefully chosen to be as muted and discreet as possible, in order to help the user get into their flow. How do you advertise a product that has been designed to not be noticed?

Describe the creative idea/insights

To launch the new device, we used a medium that also blends into the background – just like the product. Shadow Posters were a series of posters that existed only as shadows. Turning shadows into an advertising medium, the posters came to life on walls across London. Every surface became a new artwork – from traditional brick walls to interesting street art murals. This intentionally low-impact medium became an attention-grabbing series of posters.

Describe the strategy

The Surface Pro 6 was a product designed to disappear. So instead of using a conventional media space, we used shadows. This unique way of creating a poster allowed us to make ads that were also designed to disappear. Shadows was a medium that perfectly embodied the idea behind the product we were promoting. The Surface Pro 6 was aimed at the creative professional. Therefore, the Shadow Posters appeared in the trendy, creative London neighbourhoods of Shoreditch and Peckham. The specific location were decided due to their proximity to creative businesses such as design studios and advertising agencies.

Describe the execution

Because this was a new medium, we had to develop a way to make the posters as strong and impactful as possible. The Shadow Posters were cast using a large-format, suspended stencil. While the technique was new, it was key that the shadows still came across as advertising posters. Therefore, the stencil had the same format as a conventional billboard. The Shadow Posters appeared across walls in the London areas Shoreditch and Peckham. They existed on a range of different surfaces, each time becoming a new artwork. They were supported by paid social and PR. Influencers were invited to the reveal of the posters, further spreading the message.

List the results

• ‘9.38M total impressions on social media’ • ‘51% of Surface Pro 6 sales were in matte black (2 x the projection)’