Clemenger BBDO Wellington

New Zealand Government
"Unite Against COVID-19"

Client: New Zealand Government
Product: COVID-19 response
Title: Unite Against COVID-19
Media: Integrated
Country: New Zealand
Date Of Campaign: 18/02/20

Background: When the COVID-19 pandemic reached New Zealand, our fate rested on how we first responded. The initial 8 weeks would determine how we weathered the run to a vaccine – whether we overwhelmed hospitals and suffered deaths, or whether we created a strong foundation for managing COVID-19 until it could be conquered for good.The NZ Government decided to rapidly introduce measures to slow the spread of infection, to “go hard and go early”We had a single business objective: to flatten the curve.

Idea: A platform to carry all COVID-19 response communications:Unite Against COVID-19Unite: Rallying people around a unified truth; message; and author. All of us are in this, together.Against: An active call to fight it. Pointed. Urgent. We’re going hard.Covid-19: Call out the enemy; know this is what we are fighting against (not each other).The campaign was built to anticipate and address the human needs that emerge in times of fear. 1. Structure:People need calm, a sense of control and ways to organise themselves. 2. Empathy:People want their fears to be heard, acknowledged and then guided forward with simplicity. To navigate the nation through an emotionally challenging time, we developed a framework:1 Help all people understand2 Hear people’s worries and respond3 Lift people’s energyThe result was a campaign with hope, humour and heart. Every touchpoint guiding us to achieve our collective goal.

Results: We didn’t just flatten the curve, we squashed it. We stayed home, closed our businesses, postponed gatherings, and stopped movement. It worked. New Zealand’s response was one of the most effective in the world.Tracking reported 92% of people consistently doing everything asked of them. Actual behaviour during lockdown is demonstrated by Google movement data. NZ’s reduction in usage of facilities from Day 1 is remarkable. Retail and recreation movement was -91%, grocery and pharmacy movement was -54%, and parks -78%.By comparison, equivalent data from the US, shows a far lower level of behaviour change, with around half the level of reduction in retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy traffic and just a quarter of NZ’s reduction in park attendance.97% campaign awareness86% understanding of Alert Levels88% trust the Govt to deliver information on COVID-19 (global average = 50%)New Zealand has lowest death rate in the OECD.

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