Optus Clever Buoy

Clever Buoy, a project developed by Optus, M&C Saatchi Sydney, Google, Shark Mitigation Services and Fuel Communications, has won the Public Relations Grand Prix for PR at the Clio Awards. The research and development project, focused on protecting people and sharks in waters across Australia and beyond, was developed as a way of demonstrating the power of the Optus network. Clever Buoy uses sonar technology to detect shark-sized objects in coastal areas, and then sends real-time alerts to lifeguards via the Optus network. Collected data is shared with scientists and marine researchers on Google+. While the system is still in testing phase, trial runs have been conducted in Sydney Aquarium and and the Abrolhos Islands, situated off the coast of Western Australia. The project has been promoted through an animated commercial, a documentary, a microsite, cleverbuoy.com.au, and through live trials at Bondi Beach, connecting with the popular Australian TV show Bondi Rescue.

Clever Buoy Saving Us From Them and Them From Us

Re: Brief project

Google selected Project Clever Buoy in its global Re: Brief project which re-imagines what advertising can be and pushes the boundaries of where creativity and technology intersect. The Optus Clever Buoy project was awarded a Titanium Lion and a Gold Mobile Lion at Cannes in June 2015.

The Clever Buoy parallax site takes the user on a unique fly-through experience designed to create an engaging narrative that encourages absorption and further interaction. This approach allowed the site to visually represent both the natural benefits and high-tech components coherently.

Clever Buoy Screens
Clever Buoy Diagram

Clever Buoy Beach


The Optus Clever Buoy project was developed at M&C Saatchi, Sydney, by executive creative director Ben Welsh, creative directors Paul Dunne and Ant Larcombe, art director Paul Gregson and copywriter Jono Flannery, creative technologist James Bush, project director Nadine Frisk, design director Steve Hanzic, head of technology Roger Chapman, TV producer Nikki Marsh, CEO Jaimes Leggett, executive TV producer Mick Perry, group innovation director Ben Cooper, chief strategy officer Justin Graham, account director Sarah Cunningham, senior account director Karlee Weatherstone, working with Optus heads of brand communications Nathan Rosenberg and Andrew Branwhite, project lead Andrea Darling and corporate affairs manager Claire Wong.

Public relations was managed at Fuel Communications by PR managers Trisha Ford (Routledge) and Sophie Walsh. Media was handled at Starcom.

The Optus Clever Buoy system was produced at Shark Mitigation Systems, Perth.

The animated film was produced at Sixty40@Heckler, Sydney, by director Mark Simpson, VFX executive producer Dave Kelly, VFX producer Jayne da Costa, VFX coordinator Tyrone Estephan, lead designer Vitaly Grossman, 2D animator Juan Serrano, compositors Luke Carvell, Mark Kwanten, Maxence Peillon, head of 3D Bryn Morrow, 3D animator Danni Jailing, FX artist Sina Rahimpour, modeller/lighting artist Albert Susantio.

The documentary was filmed by Nimble Pictures director Josh Moore with producer Mick Perry at M&C Saatchi’s Kite Productions. Post production was done at Suitcase Murphy.