The Ministry of Education, FCB and a goat tackle bullying

The Ministry of Education is taking on bullying with ‘Oat the Goat’, a prevention initiative and interactive campaign by FBC.

Launched yesterday by associate education minister Tracey Martin, ‘Oat the Goat’ is an interactive web story targeted at four- to seven-year-olds. It follows protagonist Oat the Goat who embarks on an adventure to make friends but not without a few challenging situations arising.

He becomes a bystander to bullying and the child reading or viewing it has to decide how he should respond. The hope is the interactivity helps cement the moral of the story in readers’ minds so they are empowered to support the targets of bullying if they face it in real life.

It can be viewed on the dedicated website ‘Oat the Goat‘ website, with the story accompanied by a soundtrack performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

FCB digital creative director Matt Barnes says ‘Oat the Goat’ has been one of those projects people go over and above for, as it’s an issue people are intensely passionate about.

“Creatively, and from a craft perspective, there’s been a lot of love poured in from our partners, Assembly, Liquid Studios and composer Tane Upjohn-Beatson with the NZSO.”

Martin adds the government is working towards a New Zealand where all Kiwis feel safe and respected – regardless of their age, sex, gender identity, ability, or cultural background.

“Bullying affects children’s health and well-being and contributes to poor education and life outcomes. Tackling it as early as possible is the most effective way to limit its damaging impacts.

“This is another resource parents and teachers can use to talk to their children about bullying. It’s cute and presented in an animated way which will appeal to children.”

The story will be promoted within schools during Bullying-Free NZ Week (14 – 18 May), then target parents and whānau across social media channels with the support of the Bullying Prevention Advisory Group. All assets from the campaign, including the storybook, full site and promotional materials, will be available in both English and Te Reo Māori.

Using an interactive journey to teach children lessons is a similar idea to Pedigree’s ‘Dog Story‘, launched by Colenso BBDO. The Gold Axis-winning campaign takes children on an educational adventure through an animated game featuring a variety of different interactions with dogs along the way. It was created to teach children how to interact with dogs and reduce the number of dog bite incidents in New Zealand.

Client: Ministry of Education
Agency: FCB New Zealand 
Production Company: Assembly
Director: Matt von Trott 
Senior Developer: Matt Wilson
Character Designer/Art Director: Josh Fourt-Wells
Digital and Content Producer: Clare Bone
Composer: Tane Upjohn-Beatson
Conductor: Hamish McKeitch
Recording and Mix Engineer: Graham Kennedy
Music: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Alistair Fraser
Sound Studio: Liquid Studios
Sound Design and Mixing: James Dean
Narrators: Dave Fane (English)/Piripi Taylor (te reo Māori) 

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