Auckland City Mission gives a 360-degree view of the harsh reality of sleeping rough

The Auckland City Mission has released a new campaign, via Track and DDB, titled ‘The Harsh Reality’, an immersive, 360-degree video experience that lets the viewer see through the eyes of a rough sleeper in Auckland.

Created to kick-start Auckland City Mission’s 2016 Winter Appeal, it aims to show how the homeless are real people, just like anyone else. Three ‘homeless’, including the one who the audience sees through, are heard commenting on the cold night ahead and seen hunkering down under blankets.

Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly, said in the release, this new method of storytelling perfectly suits the brief of encouraging Aucklanders to connect with the plight of their less-fortunate neighbours.

“When we asked Track to help us with our Winter Appeal, they responded with this innovative idea of bringing to life the stories of our city’s rough sleepers and we thought, ‘We absolutely need to do this’,” Farrelley said.

Track’s creative director Jeff Harris said the project was a perfect case where the story and the objective dictated the technology and the channel, rather than using technology for its own sake.

“There’s a lot of media coverage at the moment about the plight of our city’s homeless and I’m sure people are concerned on an intellectual level,” he said. “But to really immerse Aucklanders in this issue, on a visceral level that’s impossible to ignore, we felt we needed to create a compelling experience that puts the viewer in their shoes.”

During the experience, the voices of homeless can be heard sharing their experiences and at one point the issue becomes real to viewers.

“You could be two missed mortgages away from being homeless yourself or one really tragic event could really shudder your life and put you into a spin where you find yourself in a situation like this.”

In May, Newshub reported there are 4,500 people on the Housing New Zealand waiting list. It also found one in 10 South Auckland properties has a garage tenant because people can’t afford rising rent prices.

But even in garages some people are still paying $200 to $300 a week.

The 360-degree experience is currently hosted online by NZME on the New Zealand Herald website.

Auckland City Mission’s Winter Appeal runs from 1 July to 16 August and will also be supported by a donation drive through outdoor, press advertising and online.


Track NZ
Group business director: Sarndra Bell
Creative director: Jeff Harris
Art director: Michael Tomich
Copywriter: Caroline Phillips
Account manager: Harriet Arbuckle


Chief creative officer: Damon Stapleton
Executive creative director: Shane Bradnick
Digital creative director: Haydn Kerr
Producer: Alva Casey
Director and editor: Steve Gulik
Editor: Mark Trethewey
Audio: Dan Partington 
Head of digital design: Jason Vertongen


General manager- Group content marketing: Dallas Gurney
Project manager: Gina Waikari
Writer: Ewan McDonald
Staples Productions
VR DOP: Edward Bellamy 
VR tech: Aliesha Staples
VR assistant: Chris Lucas
VR DIT: Stephanie Watson
Behind the scenes cameraman: Jason Delaveau

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