High-risk, high-reward as thousands of Kiwis get creative for ANZ’s Welcome the World

It was a brave strategy to rely on the public to come up with an idea that would form the basis of ANZ’s Rugby World Cup sponsorship. But it seems to have paid off: 6,482 ideas were submitted for DDB New Zealand’s ‘Welcome the World’ campaign, well above the 1500 hoped for.

In addition to the ideas submitted, there were almost 20,000 registered users; there’s been over 130,000 unique views on the site to date since the campaign launched and there’s been close to 15,000 votes for the top five (check them out here).

DDB creative director experiential Steve Kane was one of the three judges, along with ANZ chief cheese David Hisco and events guy Ant Hampel, and he was tasked with evaluating each of the entries.

“Suffice to say we were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of entries and the level of engagement in the campaign. The level of creativity displayed by people of all ages and from all walks of life meant it was no easy task narrowing down to just five finalists but I’m confident any of the ideas we’ve chosen will make a truly stellar welcome for our overseas visitors.”

Most of the RWC sponsors are already offering ticket draws as part of their marketing efforts, but with so many brands gnawing at the same bone and using the same old strategies to showcase their association with the tournament, the law of diminishing returns is likely to come in to play. So to make the most of what was estimated to be a $10 million initial sponsorship deal, ANZ and DDB—which, interestingly, parted ways just before the launch of the campaign after TBWA\ was confirmed as its new agency—came up with an idea that would ramp up the patriotism and increase engagement among Kiwis and eventually improve ANZ’s low ranking likability numbers.

Some of the sponsors may be keeping their powder dry for the next few months, but as far as innovative campaigns from the coterie of sponsors go, ANZ’s effort is well ahead of the pack at this stage, with second place probably going to Heineken’s Rugby Trivia series.

Each of the five finalists is in the running for four tickets to the final and $25,000 and their idea will actually be brought to life in ‘meat-space’ in September.

But coming up with good idea is only half the challenge. Each contender has launched their own social media campaign to garner support from friends, family and fans. So after the engagement to get suggestions from the nation, there’s yet more engagement half-way through to find the best idea, which will be announced on 22 June.

The finalists

  • Pulusea Seumanu, a head teacher for the Auckland Kindergarten Association, was inspired by the idea of bringing together a crowd of several thousand volunteers to create a 30-second welcome message that’s the length of a rugby field. He calls it “human animation.”
  • Aucklander Cassandra Aster wanted to help connect individual Kiwis with our international visitors, so she came up with idea of using mobile video kiosks to record personal greetings. The best 100 would then be used to create an amazing montage.
  • Rangi Williams’ background in graphic design led him to think of an idea that uses art and UV paint to bring communities together. Originally from Palmerston North, Rangi said he’d invite New Zealanders to fill 20 giant canvases that can be brought together for the grand unveiling at a major venue.
  • Christchurch-based high school teacher Aeronwy Cording had the idea of creating a set of unique murals. These would use thousands of handprints from Kiwi school kids to make up the shape of a silver fern. Visitors would be greeted by the handprint murals on billboards at every international gateway and other sites throughout New Zealand.
  • Nigel Keats of Wellington (yes, that Nigel Keats of Wellington) wanted to find a way of creating something big that involved people from different communities all over New Zealand – the World’s Biggest Haere Mai. It’s a uniquely Kiwi greeting that sends a message of welcome to the world, with a little help from the latest technology.


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