TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2019 best public sector: Health Promotion Agency

To teach Māori and Pacific populations how to recognise and respond to a stroke, Health Promotion Agency / Te Hiringa Hauora gave the existing FAST campaign a new lease on life.


9,000 New Zealanders have a stroke each year, that’s one every hour. The earlier a stroke is treated, the greater the chance of recovery so Stroke Foundation, Ministry of Health and Health Promotion Agency/ Te Hiringa Hauora have an ongoing partnership to continue to evolve and bring to life the FAST mnemonic which helps recognise the signs of a stroke and the need to act.

In 2018, the focus was on at-risk Ma-ori and Pacific populations as they are more likely to have strokes at younger ages, and the number of strokes in these populations are increasing at a faster rate.


The 2018 campaign was refined using
three insights. The first found some of the audience don’t know what a stroke is or how it differs from a heart attack. To overcome this, the campaign introduced the concept of a “brain attack”.

The second identified a myth that all the signs of a stroke need to be seen before calling 111. With this not the case, the campaign reiterated that any sign you see is serious. Media and creative was used to reinforce this, by having some creative treatments showing the full FAST story/ signs, and others just focussing on one sign, as well as a “myth-busting” series across social media.

The final insight was that messages are well received in Maori and Pacific communities when delivered via trusted sources.

Health Promotion Agency / Te Hiringa Hauora worked in close partnership with media to ensure the issue was understood and owned at a community level.

Materials were produced and translated into Maori, Samoan, Tongan and Cook Island Maori, and distributed throughout the local community with the help of the Stroke Foundation’s cultural advisors, Pacific and Maori Media Networks and community influencers.


Health Promotion Agency / Te Hiringa Hauora had four outcomes it wanted to achieve with the 2018 campaign and it delivered.

The first was an increase in awareness of the ‘FAST’ campaign. Among Maori awareness increased 14 percent to reach 50 percent awareness, while among Pacific communities it was up 17 percent to reach 45 percent.

Among the general public, it was also up seven percent to reach 49 percent.

The second outcome was for an increase in awareness of what the acronym stands for.

Among Maori, awareness increased nine percent to reach 29 percent awareness, while among Pacific communities it was up 15 percent to reach 33 percent.

Among the general public, it was up four percent to reach 28 percent.

The third outcome saw an increase in the awareness and recognition of two key signs of a stroke and again all groups showed improvement.

And finally, calls to 111 (based on data from St John’s ambulance) for a suspected sign of a stroke increased significantly. There was an 18 percent increase in average daily calls during campaign period and a 10 percent increase over the three months following the campaign.

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