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BEST OF SHOW 2019 INTERVIEW – Mark Lethbridge, CEO - Gravity Global

This year’s Best of Show winner was won by Gravity Global out of London, UK with the integrated advertising campaign, “Embraer: The Profit Hunter”. The Profit Hunter campaign included a wide variety of creative pieces and demonstrated outstanding depth, creativity and sophistication. The campaign included physical branding on actual airplanes, animated outdoor signage, social media campaigns, live events, blogs, virtual reality, AR, print pieces and video short film series.

With us today to talk more about the site, we have Mark Lethbridge, CEO of Gravity Global, to discuss the outstanding work and the Best of Show award.


HIA: Mark, first off, let me congratulate you on the “Best of Show” award for this amazing project. It is outstanding! Mark, please talk a little about what receiving the Best of Show award means to you and your agency, especially during this uncertain time of dealing with the effects of the worldwide pandemic.

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge: Well first of all let me say how delighted the entire team are at Gravity Global and of course Embraer our Client for receiving the “Best of Show’.

We haven’t stop smiling since we were notified and at a time like this, with the World in crisis, we really needed that smile!

‘Best of Show’ really is an incredible award to win with the Horizon Interactive Awards attracting over 10,000 entries from over 40 countries worldwide all time. So being recognized as the best of the best is truly a great honor.

However, this win is really down to our Client, Embraer, always pushing to do something more exciting than the industry has seen before and giving us the creative freedom to do really inspiring work. Thank you Embraer!


HIA: Obviously we are in uncharted territory with the current events of the global pandemic for the COVID-19 virus. Can you talk about how your agency is helping brands and clients to manage their stories during this time?

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge: This severity of this pandemic has put the world in a spin, it’s unprecedented and no one had a plan on how to manage through this crisis.

As a business we finished 2019 as our best year ever, culminating in us winning Agency of the Year. Looking forward to another growth year in 2020, in February we started to see the impact of Coronavirus in Asia and this quickly started to impact our business. The outlook was bleak.

We were getting calls from our Clients saying what can we stop and the situation escalated very quickly.

We responded first by developing a framework for our own business to manage through the crisis breaking down the cycle of the pandemic into four phases -Respond/Reimagine/Rebound/Recover and defining actions required for each phase.
We then realized that this framework should be used by our Clients to help them navigate what to do, what to say and when to say it.

It’s been incredibly successful and as a result we are extremely busy WFH. We have now published this on our website.www.gravityglobal.com and we are happy to share.

HIA: Mark, talk about your client Embraer and a little more about the goals and objectives of the Profit Hunter Campaign.

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge: In a market dominated by giants such as Boeing and Airbus, it takes something special to change the game. The new Embraer ‘Profit Hunter’ campaign by Gravity has done just that.

The campaign has performed incredibly well -accelerating awareness and admiration, driving record sales and becoming the industry’s new favourite-particularly with the media. Employing striking imagery, it’s brave and disruptive – providing the challenger brand with real traction. Every campaign has outperformed the last, and the Campaign- 2018/19 has set new records across all KPIs.


HIA: Mark, tell us more about the various facets of the campaign from the VR/AR to the live experiences and video components and how they all tie together.

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge: An integrated campaign that utilised events at and around air shows, viral video, VR and AR, animated OOH, Print, Social Casts and Social Media.

Stakes are high; Embraer predict that demand for 70-130 seat commercial airplanes will reach 6,400 new jets within 20 years, a $300 Bn market. Competition is intense, with competitors making identical claims.

Gravity research indicated the key issue occupying airlines is generating profit.

In response, Gravity created personas for the audience and the aircraft. Renaming the E2-190 and E2- E195 (not memorable) as the ‘Profit Hunter’ reflected the proposition (most efficient/profitable) and the target market’s needs (profit).

The ‘big idea’ was to use hand-painted predators from the natural world on nose cones to attract attention and reflect efficiency and profit making.

Our challenge was to ‘own’  Airshows and make the campaign relevant to new, growing markets in Asia-Pacific.

As well as reflecting the predatory theme, we needed to highlight features in the cockpit and cabin; the cabin has a unique two seat configuration in all classes, so ‘no dreaded middle seat’, and promote key innovations in aircraft connectivity. Gravity positioned these features as ‘sensory innovations’. To emphasise the sensory characteristics of the aircraft, we created sensory event experiences using AR and VR to showcase technological innovations.

The animals were chosen because of its predatory and sensory prowess – characteristics that perfectly matched the Profit Hunter’s technology, and relevant to the Asia-Pacific tour.

The creative required bravery because there were concerns it was too aggressive. Despite this, it was hugely positively received, dominating air shows around the world, being picked up by the world’s leading media including CNN and Fox News, achieving sales of $15.3 Bn and creating queues to see and be photographed with the aircraft.

The activity doubled audience reach, increased engagement by 74% YoY and achieved 94% record positive net sentiment – overtaking all competitor aircraft.  It’s now the industry’s talked about favourite!


HIA: What were the biggest challenges you faced with the project?

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge: When you are developing industry firsts you always have that constant ‘nag’ going on in your mind … can it be done, will it look incredible, will it come in on budget and what will be the reaction from the target market.

However, taking risk with creativity and technology is the only way to innovate. So bring it on!


HIA: Talk about the results from the project and how it was received.

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge:  The results were outstanding and surpassed even our predictions.


  • Record Sales - $15.3Bn
  • 73% increase YoY in brand mentions totaling 497,921
  • Engagement increased 60% YoY
  • Audience reach up from 8.8 Bn to 16.1 Bn, hitting front pages of CNN and Fox
  • Positive brand net sentiment up from 47% in 2017 to 84% in 2018
  • Achieved 93% positive net sentiment for Ejets – highest recorded net sentiment, outperforming Airbus and Boeing
  • 67% increase in likes YoY
  • 62% increase in ‘Earned’ posts YoY
  • 74% increase in comments YoY
  • Growth as a global brand with increases across all regions in impressions: Americas +37%, Europe +109%, Africas +1073%, Asia-Pacific +60%
  • Achieved Business Superbrand status

HIA: Tell us more about the people involved in producing the project. We would even love to gain some insight on what drives them, how they stay creative, etc.

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge:  The team at Gravity love working on this type of work. As I said earlier the client allows creative freedom with the brief and this goes a long way to delivering the Wow. The team also want to out-do what has been done before and this challenge drives them to achieve incredible work.

It also helps that the team includes strategists, creatives for concepting, designers, writers, developers, animators, content specialists, film directors and producers. It takes a big team working together to do incredible work.


HIA: What is next for this type of project at Gravity Global (if you can speak about it)?

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge: What’s next for us well you will have to wait! However, I can tell you our dream is to create a better than live event experience with improved one to one networking, delivered in a virtual world. We know there are existing platforms that are available that claim to do similar but we think we need to push this further.


HIA: Are there any trends that you are seeing in the advertising or creative digital industry that you can comment on?

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge: Technology/Technology/Technology. This is game changer for our industry.


HIA: Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

Gravity Global - Mark Lethbridge:  We could keep talking all day!  Let me finish by saying please keep doing what you are doing. It makes us all better. Thank you from Gravity Global.


HIA: Mark, thank you again for taking the time to talk more about this award and for sharing the great work with our competition. We hope that everyone at Gravity Global stays safe and is able to ride out the pandemic to the best of their abilities. We sincerely wish you the best in the future and look forward to having you back in future competitions.