Of themselves, by themselves: Ogilvy and Robber’s Dog take Kiwi whippersnappers on a creative journey

Youtube Video As the old biblical adage goes, there’s nothing new under the sun, which means that cynical industry brows are usually furrowed when anyone claims to have come up with a world-first. Well, Ogilvy has laughed in the face of potential ridicule and claimed it’s done just that with a new TVC for the Foundation of Youth Development (FYD), which shows young people involved in the foundation’s programmes making a television ad about themselves. 

Accuracy of world-first claims aside, it’s a classy lookin’, very well-made ad and trying to teach the kids who feature in it something that may be of value to them while at the same time promoting the ethos of the foundation is a good idea. It’s also always nice to see the persuasive skills of the comms industry put to good, philanthropic use and, as well as the hook-up with Ogilvy, Robber’s Dog and their partners, the ad is also being broadcast on a pro bono basis by TV3 and a number of Sky TV channels, including Prime.

The Foundation for Youth Development was set up in 1995 by mountaineer Graham Dingle and lawyer Joanne Wilkinson. Inspired by his friend and climbing companion Sir Edmund Hillary, Dingle wanted to take a practical step forward to address the high levels of negative youth statistics in New Zealand.

Formerly known as Project K, FYD has grown into a leader in the field of youth development and now runs several, proven programmes that lift the skills, self-confidence, motivation and achievements of young New Zealanders aged 5–18 years.

It’s the first ad campaign in the foundation’s 16 year history and, as the website says, it took this long to do it because the “focus has been building amazing programmes for young people, programmes that change lives. Telling New Zealand about it, however, has never been our forte”.

“The ad is a representation of everything FYD is about: empowering, motivating and encouraging young people to realise their potential and reach for the stars.”

Jenny Stiles, FYD’s marketing and fundraising manager, has experience in marketing and sponsorship management, agency planning and market research and has worked with Fairfax, the New Zealand Herald, McDonald’s and DDB. She took her proposal to make a TVC that involved the children to several different agencies around town and Ogilvy said yes, providing mentoring, guidance and resources but leaving the children to undertake the creative, direction, writing, filming and production themselves.

“We’re just so grateful to Ogilvy, Robber’s Dog and the team they brought together to help us,” she says. “We now have something that we can take to the people of New Zealand and to potential corporate sponsors to show them the great work we do to develop positive young New Zealand citizens.”

Make sure you head to the website and check out the mini-documentary of how the children made the TVC, what it taught them and what they got out of it.


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