Million Phones for New York City Education

The D&AD Awards this year included a Black Pencil for Droga5’s Million campaign, created for the New York City Department of Education. The integrated campaign, including collateral materials (posters, flyers), a dedicated website and PR, was designed to inspire students by engaging their interest in cell phone technology and interactivity.

The Million web site - What is the Million?

The Million campaign re-branded scholastic achievement for New York City’s public school students by reinforcing the connection between academic performance and future success. In place of a traditional advertising campaign, the program recognized and rewarded students’ personal achievements with something they actually wanted. Partnering with Verizon and Samsung, the Million, a free cell phone with free talk time and text messaging, rewarded students for excellent attendance, behavior, classroom participation, homework and grades.

The Million web site - What Do You Get?

The Million web site - How Does It Work?

The Million program aimed to offer short-term incentives and rewards to motivate students, increase classroom participation and contribute to their overall success in school. The Department of Education selected schools to be a part of a pilot program and partnered with Verizon Wireless to provide a free Samsung U740 to every student. Each student received start-up Million points, which could be redeemed for minutes and texts, for the first month. After that, the student earned additional Million points by doing well in classes and exhibiting good behavior.

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Million Campaign was developed at Droga5, New York, by creative chairman David Droga, CEO Andrew Essex, account handler Julia Alba, executive creative directors Ted Royer and Duncan Marshall, creative director Ben Nott, art directors/copywriters Cam Blackley and Matty Burton, digital producer Craig Batzofin, producer Thomas Beug, creative director of media Scott Witt and designer David Park. Droga5 worked closely with creative agency Poke New York (now known as Makeable).


The Million campaign has won a Titanium Lion at Cannes International Advertising Festival 2008, a Grand Clio and Gold Clio (Corporate/Institutional) at the CLIO Awards 2009, a Bronze for Innovative Media at The One Show, 2009, the Richard T. O’Reilly Award for Public Service and the Innovation Award at the International ANDY Awards 2009, and a Black Pencil for Integrated Media at the D&AD Awards.