The Waste Warriors Are Here!

Inspired children and happy parents. An educational, creative and fun workshop all round with fabulous puppets and friendly and engaged participants

Puppet Workshop Facilitator

A shopping centre activation that stretched across multiple touchpoints. By combining engaging activities with educational content, we found success in local media coverage, community interest and participation levels.


New client JLL came to us with a brief to design and manage a school holidays activity for their neighbourhood centre in Kellyville, NSW. Building engagement via school holidays shopping centre activation was just one side of the project however. They wanted to drive revisitation, integrate social media and stretch the in-Centre element across a number of weeks. 


JLL were aware they needed to create some community ties to their Kellyville Centre on the outskirts of western Sydney, particularly post a major redevelopment two years ago. The Centre was not without potential, boasting a full-line Coles and 35 specialty stores, as well as servicing a predominately young, ‘culture-hungry’ demographic with a desire to introduce their children to fashionable ideas. A sweep of local blogs showed an interest in the outdoors and environmental issues.

Having activated branded entertainment in previous school holidays (with passing success), in our inimitable style, we were keen to offer JLL and the kids of Kellyville a true community engagement event – something creative, something educational and an activity that inspired thinking. From the get-go we envisaged a workshop that included reward, both in-Centre and online, culminating in a special live performance integrating the creative talents of those kids who attended the Workshops. Enter, the Waste Warriors.

Every kid loves to make puppets, especially out of a strange and interesting materials, and so it was with the first iteration of the Waste Warriors campaign at Kellyville Village. For two fun-filled weeks, local kids perched at the recycled cardboard desks of the themed Workshop (many for 30+ minutes!) and created their own Waste Warrior puppet out of a range of recycled materials that they could then either take-home or submit for inclusion in an online voting campaign. The voting element saw eight puppets fight it out for four places – the four individual characters – that would make an appearance on the last weekend of the campaign in the live Puppet Show Performance. Adding further incentive to attend the Workshop was the ‘Schools Reward’ element that rewarded the school with the most number of attendees to the Puppet-Making Workshop with a cheque for $2,500. Not only was Kellyville Village contributing to the fundraising efforts of a local school, this was also a great incentive for schools to promote the Workshop during the prepromotion phase.

The first weekend after the school holidays hosted the Set-Making Workshop, where new or returning kids were invited to decorate the set piece that would be used for the Puppet Show Weekend. In rolling out distinctive elements of the campaign at various times – the Workshops, the voting, the Puppet Show and the ‘Schools Reward’ element – we were able to build the profile of the campaign across multiple touchpoints, each with their own unique style of interaction. Both Workshops also garnered numerous comments from parents and children regarding the intellectual quality of the content, much more than they hoped to receive from a shopping centre branded activation. As an environmentally aware experiential agency, creating fun content that inspired kids to think about waste and energy was just as important to us as meeting the client’s operational objectives.

In order to maintain an in-Centre presence from the first day of the first Workshop to the last day of the Puppet Show Weekend, two themed and merchandised display units featured puppet prototypes (initially) and then the eight puppets included in the online vote. Again, signage at this element promoted another touchpoint – in this instance the Centre’s Facebook page where the vote was hosted.

Upon tallying the votes for the four Puppet Show characters – Patch the Dog, The Energy Guzzler, The Plastic Bag Villain and Wilbur Worm – the ‘winning’ puppets were prepared for the final Puppet Show Weekend by our professional puppeteers. Building on the central theme of waste, and creating actionable solutions for 5 to 12 year olds, the Puppet Performance told the story of central character Sam and his dog Patch and their interaction with the three central characters in three environments familiar to a child. 


Waste Warriors ultimately set out to build community engagement through a variety of interactive touchpoints, all of which successfully delivered genuine engagement. Dwell time at workshops was more than double the industry average for school holidays activities, while repeat visitation was also high. Attendance at workshops was strong with very few empty spaces, particularly during the school holidays. Digital channels delivered quality engagement and local media coverage of the Workshops and Schools Reward was beyond expectation.  

The Schools Reward element of the campaign delivered the most unique and potentially valuable outcome in terms of genuine community engagement. Alongside the personal appearance the client made at the school assembly to present the $2,500 cheque, Kellyville Village also rated a mention on page 1 of the school newsletter. As a leading Australian brand experience agency, the opportunity to learn where and how we can improve our concepts in order to deliver greater client value is a result we rate very highly. 

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