One of the unintended consequences of a natural disaster like the Christchurch earthquake has been a reaffirmed belief in human decency. There were, of course, the expected low-life opportunists trying to take advantage of the situation, but the vast majority of New Zealanders seem to have dug deep and tried to do what they could to help. While claims of 'quake washing' have already surfaced, it's difficult to criticise members of the marcomms community who have decided to harness their communications skills to launch and run a range of worthy fundraising initiatives. And the Bands4Hope campaign is a good example of this industry cohesion.
The project is being led by TelstraClear, with its agency Assignment Group, and general manager marketing Luke Patterson says the aim is to raise $1 million and provide people with something tangible to show their support. And they already have support in high places: Prince William wore the bands on his recent trip here.
Exposure's Kevin Denholm and Simon Barnett both donated their time to make the ad and TelstraClear picked up all the costs associated with it, with 100 percent of the money raised from the sale of each $5 band going straight into the Mayoral Fund. MediaWorks, Prime and Sky have also come to the party with good ad placements and discounts.
PostShops around the country have also come on board to provide counter space for the bands and while retail sales figures aren't available yet, NZ Post are reordering more after putting the bands on their counters on Friday. Online sales are currently sitting at $53,000 and the Facebook page has nearly 6000 likes.
Surprisingly, Haystac's general manager Fleur Postill says sales are going bananas in Christchurch, with a spike in purchases before last week's memorial service. She says the whole campaign went from idea to execution in just two days, which goes to show how quickly things can be achieved in this industry—and, with massive lead-in times common place, how campaigns can get bogged down in bureaucracy.
The bands can be purchased here at the TelstraClear shop and sent internationally.