MDS students throw a creative punch for Cure Kids

A series of sturdy fighters, preparing for the fight ahead, stoically stare at the camera while slipping coins into their gloves in this year’s spot promoting the annual Les Mills Fight Night, which raises funds for Cure Kids NZ.

The focus starts on the pugilists set to enter the ring, but the most powerful moment in the spot comes as the camera settles on the face of a sick girl.   

“Sometimes losing isn’t an option,” intones the voice-over, striking at the heart of the viewer and alluding to the importance of the work done by the folks at Cure Kids NZ. 

“When CureKids came into MDS to talk to us, they made the important distinction that Cure Kids aren’t raising the money for the kids or their families – they’re raising it for research so that the lives of thousands of children can be improved and extended,” says Kate Humphries, AdSchool’s programme leader. “The winning team’s script unashamedly put that call for money at the very heart of their idea, with the inference that Fight Night fighters are using coins to fix the fight.”  

This is the third consecutive year that AdSchool students at Media Design School, working with production company Chillbox, have used their creative skills to help raise donations for the cause.

Adding extra punch to this year’s ad is that the first fighter shown is, in fact, the father of one of the Cure Kids.

“We chose to open up the film with that parent, Jon Copeland, because he exemplifies the fact that it’s not just the boxers fighting on the night, it’s also parents fighting for their kids every day, and, of course, the kids themselves,” says Humphries.

Also, featured in the film are Tiff Mora, a parent and ambassador for Cure Kids, and her daughter Eva, who’s been fighting to survive her entire life from a rare condition which continues to drastically endanger her life.

“Shortly after the shoot Eva had had to go back into the hospital which was a big reality check,” says student copywriter Adam Redmond. “A few days earlier she’d been giggling and throwing punches at the camera, but hearing how quickly things could change for her was quite impacting and made the project that much more meaningful to us. Ringing in my ears throughout the whole project were Tiff’s words on being told that CureKids had the money to fund research into just one of the conditions that’s made Eva’s fight really hard – as one of the ‘happiest moments in her life’. It was inspiring and I do hope that whilst people watch our film and critique it as an ad, they also donate, because that should overshadow everything else.”

This campaign follows on from last year’s Les Mills Fight Night spot, which raised funds for Canteen’s efforts in fighting cancer. This powerful spot featured the volunteer fighters practising trash-talking lines, which had actually been written by cancer sufferers in reference to cancer.

The campaign developed by the students for the event before this, featured sick children’s voices serving as the voice-over to bruised and battered fighters – a reminder of the beating many young Kiwis suffer at the hands of disease.      

The Fight Night volunteers step into the ring this Friday at the Langham, where the latest film will open the proceedings.

Donations can be made via the CureKids website


Client: Mark Michaels, Les Mills Ringside.
Producer: Jonathan Potton
Camera Man/Editor: Milon Tesiram
Director: Roberto Nascimento
Creative Director: Kate Humphries
Copywriter: Adam Redmond
Art Directors: Roberto Campos & Emerson Hunt

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