Lendlease has been selected as an ABA100® Winner for Comms Excellence in The Australian Business Awards 2021. The Australian Business Award for Comms Excellence [COM] recognises organisations that have successfully implemented initiatives that demonstrate excellence in communications.

‘The Return’ was produced to convey critical safety information in an innovative and engaging way, while also injecting a bit of fun after a tough year. Using customers and employees from our buildings, we wanted to elicit feelings of FOMO and remind everyone about the great parts of going to the office – like your friendly barista, work friends, unique experiences and feeling like you’re part of a community. I’d like to thank our agency partner, JLL, and production company, JJ Splice, for their role in bringing this production to life. We can’t wait to celebrate this award as we begin The Return to the office once again.

Fiona Denison Head of Property Management, Australia, Lendlease Investment Management

Lendlease is a globally integrated real estate and investment group with core expertise in shaping cities and creating strong and connected communities. The arrival of the COVID-19 virus to Australian shores in January 2020 created unprecedented issues for commercial buildings and their tenants.

As Australians were invited to return to work after months of working from home, occupancy rates remained low amongst office buildings across the major cities. To demonstrate Lendlease’s commitment to creating COVID-safe workplaces and healthy/sustainable buildings, Lendlease looked to create a communication piece to share critical safety information, explain cleaning processes and encourage workers to return to the office.

The brief was to create something fun and visually exciting to communicate critical safety information, but that would also remind city workers about all of the good things that come with working in an office.

In collaboration with property managers, JLL, Lendlease created The Return. Running for 3:22, The Return endeavoured to communicate COVID-safe messaging while invoking feelings of familiarity, happiness and fear-of-missing-out. A global first in the property industry, the return-to-work video was made with the spirit and theatrics of a QANTAS safety video.

Complete with choreographed musical numbers, a commissioned musical score, iconic shots of Sydney and Melbourne, and a comical nod to the trials and tribulations of working from home, the tongue-in-cheek video follows six colleagues as they break free from their online meeting and return to their offices and the surrounding precincts.

Featuring a mixture of both paid actors and real people who work in Lendlease buildings, The Return explores the feelings of connection, wellness and belonging, and how these come into play in the workplace. While conveying health and safety messaging in a playful way, the story highlights the buildings, their features and their people as the stars of the show. The themes were inspired by the real-life problems of JLL and Lendlease employees, as well as popular internet memes relating to working from home.

The video was launched on LinkedIn by thought leaders from both Lendlease and JLL. It also featured on Lendlease’s LinkedIn and website. In addition to this, the video featured on their custom-built tenant portal, WorkLife.

The Return was produced in just under six weeks and distributed over the course of a month. Production involved the coordination of over 50 cast, crew and real building staff to shoot across six different sites across three days. During the pre-production, JLL and Lendlease also had to seek out the most current SafeWork and State Government health advice, not only to ensure safe shooting across the production period, but to make sure that information and depictions within the video were within guidelines. Shooting in Melbourne took place shortly after Victorian borders opened and just as the Northern Beaches cluster was emerging, which required a series of contingency plans.

Sparking interest as the first video of its kind globally, The Return amassed over 10,000 views in its first day on LinkedIn. In total, The Return has received over 220,000 views worldwide.

Share: The Australian Business Awards