Colgate Highlights ‘The Sound of a Smile’ in Campaign via VMLY&R

“It’s not always easy to be an optimist, but when you make that choice it can be a powerful force for change in your life.”





Taxi Film

Colgate-Palmolive and VMLY&R have partnered to unveil ‘The Sound of a Smile’ eaturing QAFLW athlete Jamie Howell, and her team the Yeronga Devils, led by Captain Mia Walsh, in an ad film that centers on Jamie’s experience as a deaf athlete and her journey with her team as they navigate the gameplay and even learn their team song in Auslan.

“For the past 3 years, Colgate has been sharing stories from real people who’ve found the courage to Smile Strong and keep doing what it takes to make the world a better place and we’re so excited to be able to share the story of Jamie and The Yeronga Devils,” said Anthony Crewes, marketing director, ANZ.

“It’s not always easy to be an optimist, but when you make that choice it can be a powerful force for change in your life.”


The campaign launched with a hero spot that aired on primetime television during AFL games, while being amplified on & the AFL app, in-stadium and in cinema – partnering with Val Morgan to leverage the Dolby Atmos experience and create more immersive experiences in cinemas.

The second phase rolls out with a social campaign across Instagram and Tiktok – which sees Jamie Howell translating 7 AFL team songs in Auslan, inviting people to learn the songs in Auslan and share in their own videos.

Colgate, via Wavemaker, will also be engaging with AFL players and influencers (hearing impaired and non-Deaf) to duet with Jamie’s Auslan signing, to drive connection through shared passion for sports and its uniting power to get people’s attention.


Alison Tilling, chief strategy officer, VMLY&R said: “The Sound of a Smile work takes on a challenge: in Australian sport, we can be deaf to the pain of being ‘different’. The Yeronga Devils team were true optimists, acting on differences to get to real inclusion. Sports are meant to unite us. How can we all be like the QAFLW Yeronga Devils teammates and really embrace difference?”


Yves Briantias – Vice President Marketing, APAC
Lyndon Morant – Marketing Director IMC
Anthony Crewes – Marketing Director, ANZ
Kate Hickey – Associate Director Marketing – Oral Care, ANZ
Maria Casas – IBE Lead, ANZ
Ashleigh Wright – Senior Brand Manager, ANZ
Lucy Basil-Jones – Brand Manager, ANZ
Carla Rando – Assistant Brand Manager, ANZ
Silvana Pandrea – Senior Insights Planner, ANZ

Creative Agency: VMLY&R
Paul Nagy – Chief Creative Officer AUNZ
Alison Tilling – Chief Strategy Officer AUNZ
Blair Panozza – Senior Creative
Bryce Waters – Senior Creative
Rachel Rider – Executive Producer
Elaine Loke – Group Account Director
Sinead Kelly – Account Director
Ned Lindsay – Account Executive

Media Agency: Wavemaker
Laura Brady – Group Account Director
Shivani Maharaj – Chief Content and Partnerships Officer
Alexia Antonis – Group Director, Content & Partnerships
Evie Gardiner – Comms Manager
Laura Castro – Marketplace Associate Director
JennyX He – Marketplace Associate Manager
Angelli Westman – Comms Co-ordinator

Alice Davidson – Head of INCA

Production Company: Taxi Film
Director: Tony Prescott
Producer: Simone Mackie
DOP: Mark Desiatov
Sound Post: RanRun
Editor: Leigh Cooke
Grade: CJ Dobson
Online: Vandal
Photography: Sam Scoufos
Retouching: Mark Sterne

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